Laura Kate Magnusson-Fulbright Scholar

Laura Kate Magnusson, CHS Class of 2017, Named Fulbright Scholar

Laura Kate Magnusson-Fulbright Scholar from Chelmsford High SchoolMs. Magnusson to study, teach in Athens, Greece

CHELMSFORD, MA (June 30, 2022) – Laura Kate Magnusson, a member of the Chelmsford High School Class of 2017 and Boston College Class of 2021, was named a Fulbright Scholar and accepted a research and English teaching fellowship at Athens College, a pre-K-12 Greek-American School in Athens.

Ms. Magnusson will depart to Greece in mid-August. The academic year at Athens College, a private school operated by the Hellenic American Foundation, begins in early September.

“It’s an interesting and thriving place to work,” said Ms. Magnusson. “I always wanted to teach abroad. I’ll be working with English teachers in lesson planning, exchanging ideas and literacy-based extracurricular activities.”

In preparation for the year, Ms. Magnusson is currently enrolled in a course in Modern Greek. She received her undergraduate degree in the Elementary Education and Applied Psychology & Human Development program at BC in 2021 earned her master’s degree in Special Education for Extensive Support Needs in May.

In addition to achieving the necessary credentials to become a Fulbright Scholar, the application process is extensive. Ms. Magnusson applied for the scholarship in August 2021 and submitted her application in April 2022. In between, she was responsible for creating and submitting several documents:

  • A statement for grant proposal
  • A personal statement describing her goals and desire for a Fulbright Scholarship
  • Three essays of ideas regarding what she could offer with the Scholarship
  • Two interviews: With Boston College’s Fulbright staff; as well as an online interview with the staff at Athens College, with notes to be included in the application.

“It’s really front-heavy,” Ms. Magnusson said. “It was an eight-month period from when I applied, and I really wasn’t sure if it was going to happen.”

As a Fulbright Scholar, Ms. Magnusson receives housing and a monthly stipend to cover daily needs such as food, transportation, additional international insurance as well as travel to and from Greece. She will live in the north of Athens.

The role at Athens College will be Ms. Magnusson’s second opportunity teaching abroad. In February of 2020, she began teaching in Australia but returned home in March due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“It was definitely not what I was expecting when I went abroad,” she quipped. “It was extremely disappointing, but things happen in life. It was a global pandemic and the safest place for me was home. Once I had another opportunity to teach abroad, I took it.”

Ms. Magnusson attended Harrington Elementary School from grades K-3, Byam Elementary School for grade 4 and Parker Middle School before moving on to CHS. It was during high school that she discovered a passion for teaching, in large part to her mentors Steve Wurtzler, a grade 2 teacher at Harrington, and Joan Murphy and Matthew Bartos at CHS.

“I took Exploring Early Childhood with Mrs. Murphy my senior year and interned at Mr. Wurtzler’s class,” she noted. “It was great to get that experience before college. I took AP Language and Composition (with Mr. Bartos). It’s one of the best courses I’ve ever taken.”

Ms. Magnusson plans to pursue a career in either elementary or special education.

Her mentors have no doubt she will make an exceptional educator.

“She brings joy to the classroom,” said Mr. Bartos. “She loves to pursue learning and knowledge. She is so humble and realizes that human interaction is vitally important which makes her an incredible student, but it’s going to make her an incredible teacher someday.”


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