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The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

A Career of Science That All Began With the Flavr Savr Tomato

Mr. Lampard brings expertise, values and knowledge to Summit classrooms

During the school week Greg Lampard can be found in his upper A hall class, writing notes on the whiteboard, lecturing from his seat in the front of the room, sliding in witty sarcastic jokes when he gets the chance and sharing his passion for the complex worlds of biology and chemistry. But before he was here in our Summit halls, with his postdoctoral at Stanford and twenty six years of school long behind him, he was in Toronto, Canada, at Westwood High School.

His first two years of high school were tough, and Lampard sought to be there as little as possible. The lack of community and school spirit drained the students, and students were even banned from attending football games for fear of fights breaking out. No one who walked the halls wanted to be there.

“At the end of day there was a race to see who could get out faster, teachers or students,” described Lampard. 

His disinterest in school shifted when college edged the horizon. He began to make an effort in school, working hard at subjects that he struggled with, such as literature. When Lampard learned of the genetically modified Flavr Savr tomato—the first commercially available genetically modified plant at the time—it sparked his interest in science. The wonderful idea of tinkering with the genetics of plants captured Lampard’s fascination, and the subject that had always come easily to him transformed into a clear career path. 

At 18, he attended college at The University of Guelph in Ontario, which offered a different environment from the restlessness of his high school. The school had an air of polite kindness that demonstrated its solid community, an aspect of school Lampard missed in his early life. His knowledge blossomed at Guelph where he received his undergraduate and masters in molecular biology and genetics. His passion then led him to the University of British Columbia in Canada, where he received his Ph.D in biochemistry and plant molecular biology. 

After receiving his Ph.D, Lampard was offered a position in the prestigious buildings of Stanford University to work on his postdoctoral research. When he arrived in the Bay Area, he was slightly surprised by the impressive congratulations he received. In Canada where he had experienced his first years of University, colleges were all public and didn’t carry with them the same reputations that American colleges did. 

Through his years of remarkable personal achievements, one single aspiration never left the back of his mind—teaching. Since attending Guelph, Lampard had believed that he was meant to teach. After making the move to America and working at Stanford, Lampard took up a teaching position at Pace University in New York, which gave him a glimpse of the potential he had in teaching. Not everyone understood his passion for teaching and he was sometimes met with harsh scrutiny. Once Lampard even fought with a teacher’s assistant who thought that he was wasting his time trying to teach students.

After teaching at private middle schools in the Bay Area, Lampard grew tired of the hour and half commute to work and school with his son, so he set his sights on the small town of Bend in 2018. Packing up his years of experience, expertise and passion for teaching, along with his belongings, he ended up on Summit’s doorstep. Summit’s fierce community and school spirit gave Lampard the high school experience he never got in his hometown. 

But just as being a part of Summit brought something to Lampard, he brings important lessons back. After years of schooling, one lesson in particular still sticks with him. 

In his third year at Guelph, Lampard approached a respected professor with a question about his lecture, but instead of answering the question, the professor asked his own: had Lampard done all of the reading and the notes for the class? Lampard answered truthfully that he had not, and the professor promptly threw him out of his office, telling him to stop wasting his time and to show him that he was actually trying. 

Lampard took this message to heart, realizing he didn’t need someone holding his hand throughout life’s challenges. He started to develop a strong work ethic that his success in school would be greatly credited to. He brings these values and lessons with him to Summit.

“I think he brings experience and expertise to the school,” said chemistry teacher Lisa Lamb, who works with Lampard in the science department.

In addition to teachers noticing his positive impact, his students also recognize it.

“I believe he brings a driven and determined work ethic to Summit, while also letting students explore chemistry and biology in their own individual ways,” added Tatum Hoffmann, a Summit Sophomore who had Lampard’s class as a freshman.

In the classroom, Lampard pushes his students to improve their own work ethic, independence and confidence that he developed at Guelph and Stanford. In all, Summit is lucky to have him and all that he adds to the environment of the school.

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About the Contributor
Caitlin Houston
Caitlin Houston, Staff Writer
When she isn’t watching horror movies with her best friend, playing with her two dogs, or exploring new music scenes, Caitlin is found in the outdoors. Anywhere from out on the soccer field, to backpacking in the Sierras or simply taking a stroll with her dogs. Her favorite foods include homemade Caesar salad and any Thai dish that is placed in front of her. She is interested in taking journalism in future college courses and is excited to expand her writing skills. Caitlin is new to The Pinnacle this year and is thrilled to be a part of its staff!

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    Sarah LNov 8, 2023 at 9:39 pm

    Wonderful, inspiring article about Greg Lampard, teacher extraordinaire… How fortunate Summit is to have him. And Caitlin, you did a beautiful job of capturing his life story, pursuing his educational goals, and dreams where his obvious passion for teaching and learning learning can be shared
    with so many fortunate students.