Laura Fleming

Our Teachers

A long over due collection of tribute pages to the individuals who accepted the challenge of educating us.

Laura Fleming was RHS Class of 1977

2019 Ashby Award Recipient

Mrs. Laura Fleming

I got to know Laura long after we graduated in a class of over 550 students. She was a tireless worker for so many causes. I feel lucky to worked with her on a couple of class reunions. One of her former students, Sanjana Rajagopal, gave her a eulogy better than I ever could:

Woke up today morning to the news that my AP Euro teacher, History Bowl chaperone, and all around one of the sweetest people I knew passed away. I still vividly remember her encouraging my love for Russian history and taking a giant group of us to DC for History Bowl Nationals not once but twice. Even recently she told me she was so happy to see me teaching, and to see my research headed in a direction very much related to her class. Our last face to face conversation was in the library of RHS, where I was telling her about my plans to do the PhD.

When I see my students today on Zoom, I’ll keep your wonderful heart, patience, and care in mind, Mrs. Fleming. You touched the lives of so many at Ridgewood High School.

Laura Fleming and Sanjana RajagopalLaura Fleming and Sanjana Rajagopal

Ridgewood Superintendent of Schools Daniel Fishbein:

Laura was an RHS lifer. She retired as an RHS graduate and Ashby Award winner with thirty-seven years of service to the District. Laura was a beloved figure to staff and students, acting as a World History, US History, and European History AP teacher over her last several years. These assignments allowed her to interact with and influence all high school grade and ability level students. Laura was a tireless worker and advocate for both the teaching profession and her students. Because of her dedication, she was often found well after school hours in room 204, counseling students, grading research papers, or searching professional development opportunities online.

Over the years, she enjoyed advising a series of political or social action extracurricular clubs, and, most recently, she functioned as the RHS point-person for the popular annual History Bee & Bowl event, a now national and international series of competitions founded by one of Ms. Fleming’s former students. Laura’s breadth and depth of content knowledge was only surpassed by her compassion and empathy for others. With her ever-present smile, Laura enjoyed both casual and academic conversations with peers, and informal mentor sessions with her younger colleagues.

Laura embodied all the qualities of a true teaching professional. Her gentle smile and warm personality will greatly be missed.