Branson Lawrence started working at IMSA in 1989, spending his first three years teaching the Academy's Summer Ad'ventures program. He then moved to teaching full-time, spending the next 23 years as Science Faculty, and more recently, Principal. As a tribute to our 2015 retirees, we asked him a few questions about his time at IMSA.
What is your most cherished IMSA memory?
Looking back over 23 years, it is very difficult to choose one event. I will always cherish the time spent working with students. I was often amazed at the creative nature of the students when given the freedom to work on open ended problems of their choice such as the pollution problems in Environmental Chemistry and the human condition projects in Applied Engineering.
The most satisfying work as a curriculum designer was the development of the Perspectives program in the 1990s and integrated Scientific Inquiries in the early 2000s. It was a great privilege to work with such intelligent master teachers. These individuals constantly thought about their practice. They designed endless lessons that would push students to develop mastery of content but more importantly the confidence to use this knowledge to solve new problems.
What are your post-retirement plans?
I will be working with schools in the St. Louis area to develop integrated curriculum that will allow students to encounter STEM in the context of the arts and humanities. I will also spend a great deal of time with my grandchildren.
What are your hopes for IMSA's future?
My hopes for IMSA's future include attaining resources that will enable the faculty, staff, and administration to continue to provide a uniquely challenging education for the future leaders of the world. I am always proud when a colleague or acquaintance mentions they have met some outstanding individual at work or volunteering for an organization. They often notice that IMSA has left an indelible mark of insight and confidence on the person.
On behalf of IMSA's faculty, staff, and the innumerable students inspired by him, we thank Branson for all of his years of dedicated, thoughtful service to the Academy.