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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy: Resource Blog for Parents

Q&A With Breakthrough Pittsburgh's New Coordinator of Student and Family Support Lawrence Gunter

9 Questions with Lawrence GunterLawrence Gunter began in May as Breakthrough Pittsburgh's Coordinator of Student and Family Support. This part-time but critically important role ensures that the needs of our Breakthrough students and their families are being met as they navigate the demands of the program over the six years of their participation.

Lawrence earned his B.S. in Finance and his MBA, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has been an administrator and an educator, with experience as a retirement plan administrator with American Pension Benefits and as a business analyst with Casco Bay Benefits Group. He has also served as a substitute teacher in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and as a direct support professional at Verland, providing direct care to clients with physical, developmental, and intellectual disabilities.

With his extensive experience and professional qualifications, Lawrence is a most welcome addition to our Breakthrough Team. Lawrence and his wife, Aisha, are the proud parents of current SA student Lawrence Gunter.

SA: Why did you choose to work at Sewickley Academy?

LG: I honestly feel that SA chose me. I had no idea what Breakthrough was about when I used to walk by the office sometimes. I was speaking with my wife one evening about how I wanted to volunteer somewhere to mentor kids in our community. A couple of days later, she indicated to me that she stopped into the Breakthrough office to speak with Gina to find out what the program was about. She immediately called me to tell me it sounded like an opportunity to get involved.

SA: What motivated you to become a teacher?

LG: To have a positive impact on a child's mind and learning process.

SA: What do you enjoy most about teaching?

LG: Having the opportunity to influence and open a child's mind to the concept of lifelong learning.

SA: What is the most important life lesson you want your students to learn in your class(es)?

LG: That life is filled with infinite possibilities and there is not just one true way things should be done. It is important that the student/individual run their own race and not get caught up with where they are in relation to someone else. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.

SA: Favorite book as a child?

LG: My favorite books as a child was "Winnie the Pooh" by A. A. Milne.

SA: Favorite book as an adult?

LG: My favorite book as an adult is "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison. 

SA: What are some of your interests/hobbies?

LG: Coaching basketball and playing tennis. Plus, I'm a foodie so I enjoy cooking and grilling.

SA: What are you most looking forward to this school year?

LG: To learn more about the SA community and find possible areas of involvement.

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Topics: Faculty