Lauren Fredericksen ’09 brings Centre to the classroom
The Centre Mafia is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the very real network of Centre alumni who are fiercely loyal to the College in many ways, including serving as role models and mentors, and occasionally, employers of other Centre students and graduates. But some, like Lauren Fredericksen ’09, are trying to give a few of those same advantages to pre-college-age students.
Fredericksen, a second-grade teacher at East End Preparatory School (EEP), a charter school in Nashville, Tenn., has decorated her classroom in all sorts of Centre swag as part of an overarching mission to instill college as a goal at a very early age in students.
“We believe that all children are capable of achieving greatness,” Fredericksen says. “Our mission is that, ‘students will be prepared for college degree completion and achieve success in the competitive world beyond, through academic excellence and cultivating habits of the mind that promote strength of character and intellect.’ To accomplish this goal, we know that the road to college must begin in kindergarten.”
Fredericksen, and the other teachers at EEP, incorporate these ideals in their day-to-day student interactions.
“College is mentioned daily in every classroom,” Fredericksen says. “References range from hearing college chants, like ‘sitting up straight like a college scholar,’ or inviting students to share their work like ‘professors.’”
“Each teacher has decorated his or her classroom to share elements of their alma mater, and classes identify themselves as members of that college,” she continues. “For example, I teach math in the morning to ‘Centre College’ students, and in the afternoon these students go to a different teacher for reading and I teach math to that teacher’s ‘St. Andrews’ students.”
Students are greeted by a Centre Seal at the door (yes, they know not to step on the seal); there is a Colonel of the Week honor; and there’s even a Centre song sung to the tune of “You’re a Grand Old Flag”:
We are Centre C/ We’re the best in the Land/ and you’ll know us wherever we go/ see our work ethic help our achievement/ we’re wearing the white and the gold/ Centre C sends love/ track the speaker above/ we’ll show respect forever you’ll see/ with a ton of enthusiasm/ I’m a scholar at Centre C/ Centre College Colonels/ Centre College Colonels/ Centre College Colonels
Perhaps the posters in her classroom that track her students’ academic growth are the most “Centre-themed” decorations of all. They read, “Do your best. Be your best. No regrets.” If they’re listening, it wouldn’t be surprising to find a few of Fredericksen’s students among Centre’s Class of 2029.
by Cindy Long