McLaughlin giving PAHS a fresh approach



McLaughlin prepares for the school day.

Punxsutawney Area High School’s new Assistant Principal Lauren Mclaughlin is using her new platform to help keep Students on track to succeed. 

Originally from Philadelphia, McLaughlin has been a resident of the Dubois area since the age of 16. After graduating from Dubois Area High School in 1997, McLaughlin decided to start her future in education. She loves working with students and using the knowledge that she already has to help others. McLaughlin has a Bachelors in Secondary English from Clarion University, a Masters in Curriculum from Penn State University and a Masters in Administration from the University of Phoenix.

The thought of becoming Assistant Principal came after McLaughlin was a teacher for 19 years at Dubois Area High School. McLaughlin taught grades 9-12 and said she always tried to be an example for her students. She said she believes that if you are strict and have set examples on how to be, students will grow into great adults. 

McLaughlin said that by having the room to make rules, regulations and set policies, she can help make sure students are on the right track to be well rounded individuals. For example, the different approach McLaughlin takes with dress code gives students a sense of structure. McLaughlin also knows how rough school and homelife can be for these students, as she is a parent herself and a former teacher. She said she is always ready to help whoever needs it, and no matter how busy she is, she makes time for lots of one-on-one help. She takes the time to talk to students which genuinely shows each one of them that they are heard and cared for at PAHS.

“Teaching is different from being principal. I have to be a leader,” McLaughlin said. “I am learning everyday and have great people around me.”

In addition to being a leader to all the students here at Punxsy, she has two children of her own. She describes her life outside of school as being relaxed. McLaughlin said she is also a “sports mom” who is always on the sidelines cheering her kids on. McLaughlin said having the role of both Assistant Principal and parent can get tricky, but she has great family and friends that always jump in to help her out.

“Everyday when I leave school I am happy with how the day went,” McLaughlin said.

A new school district comes with many different learning opportunities especially when transitioning from teaching for 19 years to being a first year Assistant Principal at a different school. McLaughlin said she is up for the challenge and is excited for each day she is here. McLaughlin also said that she has great co-workers here at PAHS that help her on a daily basis. Her co-workers help her to figure out the ropes and make sure things are done the right way to make sure each kid and teacher is happy to come to school.

“Be excellent on purpose,” McLaughlin said. “Everything you do should be done in the way that your name will be put on it and always set a good example for the people around you.”