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The Student News Site of Lampasas High School

Badger Tracks

The Student News Site of Lampasas High School

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Badgers Mourn Loss of BAST Paraprofessional

Queszarrah Olson
Laura Cowan receives the Paraprofessional of the Month award from assistant principal Ryan Race for Dec. 2022.

When most students met the paraprofessional in BAST (Behavior Academic Support Team) their freshman year, they thought she was strict. But by their senior year, they learned she held them accountable because she cared. Then she would be like a grandmother to them. The students who knew her will no longer have that grandmother-like personality for the rest of their time in high school.

BAST paraprofessional  Laura Cowan died Nov. 25. 

“Just to put her in one job would probably minimize who she was,” behavior intervention teacher Queszarrah Olson said. “But by definition, she was just a paraprofessional, but she was more than that. She took care of every kid, watched every grade, and was the biggest heart.”

Cowan worked more than a decade at the high school. Olson had worked with her since 2015.

“She and I were a lot alike,” Olson said. “We didn’t share a whole lot at first, but toward the end, I can’t imagine not talking to her.”

Cowan worked in the Navy for a few years before going into the school system.

“She was a paraprofessional for kindergarten kids down in Florida and then she moved up here,” Olson said. “She was a cub scout leader. I think she worked at one of the elementary schools here as well before coming to the high school.”

Former student Annalise (Rickels) Haak made a post on Facebook about Cowan’s death.

 “You were the best teacher ever,” Haak said in the post. “You helped me get through my first two years of high school. I’m so sorry about I didn’t stay long enough for us to get those two years with each other.”

Haak said Cowan helped her get through a few hard times in her life.

 “You helped many students get through a lot,” Haak said. “We will all miss you.”

Junior Jinx Curlee and Cowan would often color together. 

“I was one of her students and I saw her every morning,” Curlee said. “We would often talk about our days and good ways to cope [with our emotions].”

Sophomore Alondra Ramirez is glad that Cowan is “with her husband,” who died last school year. 

 “She always gave me good advice,”  Ramirez said. “She was always nice. I loved her.”

 Cowan met Ramirez’s child 3 weeks after he was born.

“She was happy,” Ramirez said. “She cried. She was like ‘Oh, he’s so tiny and cute,’ and she started crying.”

Olson came in extra early on the Monday after Cowan’s passing.

“That’s why I came early, so that I could have a few moments to kind of process [my emotions] before the kids came,” she said.

Olson said telling students that Cowan had died was “uncomfortable” and “awkward.” She offered them the opportunity to write letters to give to Cowan’s family.    

“During the school day I try to be strong for the kids,” Olson said. “But at home, that’s when I kind of let myself cry and remember the good times.”

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