Penn math teacher retires after 16 years

Penn High School veteran Laura McKenzie has chosen to retire after teaching for 16 years. 

Mrs. McKenzie, Freshman Academy leader and math teacher, will be retiring to spend time with family and move down south. Mrs. McKenzie’s goal as a teacher has always been “giving the kids their own ‘A-ha moment'” as she describes it.

“I want them to wonder about what’s going on and to think about it… I don’t need to rescue them all the time, I like when they rescue themselves.” She works with them, but would never just give them answers. “If I do that, I feel like I’m leaving the students out of the equation.”

Mrs. McKenzie’s students are challenged in order to learn. She has always emphasized going out of the comfort zone to get better. “Mistakes will only help you,” She assures her class after a difficult problem.

Her students appreciate her hard work and compassion. “She spoils us as if we are her own. She has such a kind heart.” Kelly Kirk, Penn freshman, explains. Mrs. McKenzie gives her all in the classroom, spreading her love and compassion. “Every year, I absolutely fall in love with my students… It’s truly been a wonderful time.” Around the end of the school year, most teachers are ready for the summer. By that time, Mrs. McKenzie is already looking for ways to improve for the incoming year.

For retirement, she is moving back to her roots, the south, in Florida. She’s looking forward to spreading her knowledge that she has obtained over her time at Penn.

Mrs. McKenzie has left her mark at Penn, teaching kids and reviving the Model UN club is just the tip of the iceberg. The impact she has made on her students will stay with them long after Mrs. McKenzie has walked out of Penn’s doors. She will always be remembered as one of Penn’s best.