Humanities Hero: Lisa Laker

Lisa Laker teaches English at Franklin Central High School. She founded a creative writing club and inspires students through programming and events, which have been funded by Indiana Humanities in…

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Lisa Laker teaches English at Franklin Central High School. She founded a creative writing club and inspires students through programming and events, which have been funded by Indiana Humanities in the past. She is a lifelong Hoosier with 26 years of teaching experience and plants the seeds of the future in her Indianapolis community by utilizing creativity, passion and enthusiasm. 

The true power of any superhero is being able to inspire future generations. Laker does just that with creative writing. Laker has been an Indiana Humanities program partner throughout the years, hosting programs and bringing her students to volunteer at Indiana Humanities events. Several of her students have gone on to pursue creative writing degrees following graduation. 

In 2017, Laker hosted an Indiana Humanities Speaker Program event at Franklin Central High School featuring former Indiana Poet Laureate Adrian Matejka. A group of 20 students was able to have an intimate luncheon with Matejka where they asked him questions and learned about what it’s like to be a professional writer.

Then, in 2018 Laker received an Action Grant for an Emily Dickison Museum Exhibit and Community Program. The exhibit was curated by her Creative Writing Club students and included topics such as Emily’s Inspirational Writers; Emily’s Garden and Home; Emily and the Civil War; and a Poetry Creation Section. With approximately 900 attendees during a three-week period, the program was a success and an unforgettable experience for students. 

When Indiana Humanities’ digital media intern Mike Lee asked what advice Laker has for teachers and students considering applying for Indiana Humanities programs and grants, she replied that one should aim to connect different parts of one’s school community to make something from the past relatable to the present. 

Looking to inspire students like Lisa Laker? Indiana Humanities has you covered with a variety of programming opportunities, ranging from hosting an Unearthed speaker to being a community read host or even requesting a free toolkit to learn more about prize-winning authors. 

Lisa Laker is a humanities hero! We are thankful for all of the work she has done to engage students in the humanities. Learn more about how you can be a Humanities Hero in your community through an Indiana Humanities grant here

Learn more about Lisa Laker @LisaLakerFCHS on Twitter and on her reflections blog featuring Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet Adrian Matejka.

Video created by Mike Lee, Indiana Humanities Digital Media / Storytelling Intern.