Laurie Tortell started teaching at Gooden in 2008 as the Middle School science and math teacher. With over twenty years teaching experience in middle and high schools, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and her teaching credential with a GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) from the University of California, San Diego. Originally from Louisiana, she likes to spend time outdoors: gardening, walking, going to the beach, and swimming. A resident of Sierra Madre, she is married with two children in college.
Mrs. Tortell feels that it is a privilege to be a teacher, that her work is being a trustee of the future. Teachers help lead students to a wider, more exciting, more meaningful world by helping them to understand themselves, their classmates, and their environment. Her goal for students is that they will become thoughtful citizens, independent, and lifelong thinkers and leaders who will contribute positively to their communities. She has a particular interest in middle school education and knows that for that age group, as a teacher and Gooden's Middle School director, it is not enough to know the periodic table or scientific process if you don’t really care that your students are unhappy or overwhelmed by the stresses of adolescence. She feels the best teachers teach the content of their curriculum, but they also teach life skills, from organization and planning to getting along with others, to taking care of themselves and the world in which they live.