Ms. Laura Keziere is one of our longest-serving staff members, having been at SMUS for nearly 35 years. She is originally from Ontario but her family moved to Victoria when she was a child. After graduating from Esquimalt High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in French and history from the University of Victoria and l’Université Laval, followed by her teaching certificate at UVic. She taught English in Paris for one year before starting at SMUS in September 1984.
Laura has taught French (and AP French) to Middle and Senior School students, she is a cross-country and track and field coach, she has been a boarding houseparent and she is currently co-head of the Modern Languages Department.
Laura is married and has two daughters, Hannah and Jessa, who are both SMUS Lifers.
Let’s get to know Laura better:
What was the best class you took in school?
There are too many to pick, but I loved all of my English classes from Grade 10 through to university. I love stories and I admire good writers. Home Economics in high school was fun, too, as I learned how to read a pattern and sew.
What was your first-ever job?
I worked in the concession and ticket booth at the Capital Theatre downtown before it became Capital 6. It was a great job, as I learned to add and subtract in my head quickly – which is a good life skill – and we were well paid. The theatres are open 365 days a year and we got extra pay on Sundays and holidays!
What do you do on a day off?
I like to go for runs or hikes in the forest, see friends, bake or go to movies
Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
I’ve travelled a lot, but somehow Ireland and Scotland have escaped my list. I’m interested in going there from both a historical interest – their histories are deep and rich – and because of my family heritage.
What is one goal you want to achieve in your lifetime?
I want to bake a perfect baguette. I rarely eat white bread but while living in Paris I wanted to enjoy all aspects of the culture so I developed an appreciation for a good baguette – it needs to be crispy, caramel in colour and the inside is filled with varying sizes of bubbles.
Why did you want to be a teacher?
My interests are running and coaching running, French language and culture, and kids. I thought it would be great to have a career where I had all three in my day – and I’ve managed to do that.
What was your dream job growing up?
I thought that it would be fun to be a bilingual journalist for a magazine like Maclean’s.
What was the first concert you went to?
Supertramp at the Memorial Arena in 1977.
What’s been your most memorable teaching moment?
I have daily moments that make me appreciate my career. If a student is happy with his test result or his race, or he decides to continue studying French at university or continue running after SMUS, I am happy. I especially enjoy running into alumni who share their passion for either French or running with me.
If you could time travel, when would be the first place you go?
The French Revolution but I would be wearing an invisibility cloak. The monarchy was out of hand, and I’m not saying that the middle class went about it in the right way, and things got out of control, but I admire the strength and courage of those involved who got the revolution started. I am interested in Marie Antoinette and would love to know her real story.
What was your favourite field trip as a kid in school?
A tour through Chinatown when I was in Grade 4. I found everything about the tour to be exotic and fascinating: the medicinal herbs, the dancing presentation and the food – I remember seeing different parts of animals being served up as delicacies.
What are you currently reading?
The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton
What’s the best part of your job?
The students. I appreciate their energy, enthusiasm and wit.
Where is your favourite place on Vancouver Island?
We have a family cabin on Cowichan Lake. We’ve made lots of great memories there and it’s a beautiful area.
What was your favourite childhood Halloween costume?
I went as a parrot on my best friend’s shoulder, who was a pirate. We won a costume contest!
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
To speak all languages of the world fluently.
What are you passionate about?
Running. I’ve been running for 43 years and it is my favorite pastime. I rarely run from SMUS though, as I prefer to run on trails. I ran for the varsity cross country and track teams at UVic, then did triathlons and 10-km races, and now I run for fun and relaxation.