Laura P.

I graduated from Imago in 1997. I went from a class of eleven students at Imago to a class of nearly 200 at Nashoba Regional High School where I became actively involved in the music department. This was due in large part to my Imago experiences in music performance as well as other Imago alumni who welcomed me there.

I double majored in math and secondary education at Gordon College, thoroughly enjoying my years there. I was able to complete my studies at Gordon in 3.5 years and then spend the semester before graduation in Siberia. I lived with a missionary family from SEND International (www.send.org), helped in their homeschool teaching math and science, and also studied a little Russian just for fun. For this, I was thankful for my foundation in Latin at Imago. Although not a Romance language, Russian grammar has declensions, and I would have truly been at a loss in my immersion-style lessons had I not already understood these.

After college, I had an eight-year career teaching math. After four years at Algonquin Regional High School, I married Andy Papia and moved to Dorchester. I then taught for one year at Parkside Christian Academy and nearly three more years at Brookline High School until my first son was born and I resigned to be home full time with him.

I miss many aspects of classroom teaching, but I also love that I am able to be the primary teacher for my kids right now. We have two boys, Drew (almost 2.5) and Liam (10 months). Besides caring for them full time, I also have the privilege of being on the board of my neighborhood organization, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (www.DSNI.org). In addition, my husband and I lead an intentional Christian community in our home. We share our big Victorian house with four other young adults. We meet together regularly and each serve our neighborhood in some capacity. We seek to live in Dorchester missionally, to be good neighbors and to live simply in order to be generous with our time and resources. (We will have one opening in our community as early as August 1, so if you or someone you know may be interested in living here, please message me for details.)

I love Imago. It is because of Imago that I have Becca (Andersen) Tam as a life-long friend. I am a teacher now because I was inspired by the excellent teachers I had there. I remember loving math as early as second grade when I was dubbed the “math queen” by Miss Farrington for being undefeated in the flashcard game Around the World. I had the honor of sitting in the “math chair” in eighth grade for having the best math scores in grades 5-7 (Thanks, Mrs. Beals!). I believe I was challenged more academically at Imago than I ever was in high school (and perhaps even college). But far more important than having academic rigor, my teachers modeled a love for learning as well as for teaching. I remember all of the Miss Dey history projects I ever made, can still quote the poems that Mrs. Hoffrage had us memorize; I still know all the words to every Christmas carol ever written (Thanks, Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Weibly!) and have fond memories of performing The Pirates of Penzance and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Imago was a lot of work and so much fun all at the same time. I am so grateful for the ways Imago teachers loved me and helped me become who I am today.