Laura Labyak ’90 completed her one-year term as president of the Virginia State Literacy Association (VSLA) in May.
She began her leadership role with the organization when she was elected to its board of directors as a member-at-large in 2018 and then served as vice president and president-elect.
Among its many objectives, VSLA advocates for literacy initiatives such as the funding of reading specialists, said Labyak, who is the instructional specialist at Indian River Middle School in Chesapeake. She sees her leadership roles with VSLA as growing out of her experiences at Longwood, where she was encouraged to run for a class officer position. “Dr. [James] Crowl, the beloved history professor, said,
‘You know, Lauri, we need more women in government. Why don’t you run for class vice president?’ Not wanting to disappoint Dr. Crowl, I ran.”
She won the election and also served as president of Sigma Kappa sorority and co-captain of the women’s tennis team. Labyak, who majored in elementary education, holds an M.Ed. from the University of Virginia and is working on a doctorate in K-12 leadership at Regent University.
“At times I think I’m crazy for wanting to pursue a doctorate after 33 years in education, but, as long as I’m in leadership positions, I want to be the best leader I can be,” she said.