Vanguard University alumni Tricia Lamb is taking a nearly $35,000 pay cut in order to keep the highly lauded science program at Kaiser Elementary School in Costa Mesa.
Lamb, who graduated with her Masters Degree in Elementary Education and attained her teaching credential from Vanguard, is one of two specialized teachers in Kaiser’s science program that has been around for 14 years, thanks to a gift from an anonymous donor that has allotted $150,000 per year. The trouble is that that donation ends after this year, and since that money covered Lamb’s position and field trips, she was presented with a tough decision to either return to conventional classroom teaching at her current salary or take a huge pay cut to keep Kaiser’s much celebrated science program alive.
Because Lamb has grown to love both her position and the lab she has operated in, she knew she had to make a tough decision that defied logic. She has agreed to work at 60% of her normal salary of $84,701, resulting in a salary of $50,821, for the next school year in order to keep the science program alive—and for good reason too. Kaiser’s science program has allowed its students to consistently outperform their counterparts throughout the sate by more than ten percentage points despite the fact that 39 percent of Kaiser students come from families who are classified as socio-economically disadvantaged, 18 percent are considered English language learners, and 12 percent have learning disabilities.
“I realized that the way I can give back to my community is by reducing my contract for a year,” Lamb said in a recent interview with the Orange County Register. “During times like this, when everyone is struggling and cuts are being made, schools can be successful if the community works together.”
Lamb’s sacrifice will be sure to not only benefit her school, but her entire community, and she could not be happier with her decision.
“I’m a great believer in finding out what your passion is. To me, life is about what makes you happy. And in my science lab is where I’m happiest.”
For further information on Tricia Lamb and to see the article written about her by the Orange County Register, please visit here.