A Tribute to Mr. Laux, the BC Calculus Legend

A Tribute to Mr. Laux, the BC Calculus Legend

You may have seen him in Room 113, the infamous AP BC Calculus classroom, or strolling in the hallways with his black coffee in his stainless steel Starbucks tumbler. This mystery man is Mr. Laux. After an impressive 31 years at Tenafly High School, Mr. Laux, beloved AP BC Calculus and AP statistics teacher, is retiring. His path to teaching was not a straight line, but a journey that took him to Bergenfield, Yonkers, and beyond (if you know, you know!).

After earning a business degree in college, Mr. Laux spent two years with a career in business before accidentally stumbling upon a teaching job at Bergen Catholic High School. After twelve years there, he found his permanent home at Tenafly High School, where he has inspired generations of students with his passion for math and his unique teaching style. There is never a dull moment in his class; every lesson is infused with jokes, anecdotes, and laughs. My favorite story he told my BC class was from many years ago, when he bent down to pick up a piece of chalk he dropped on the floor and magically transitioned into a handstand. He always keeps us on our toes — even if sometimes he’s on his hands.

What he enjoys most about teaching math is the certainty that comes with it — there is always an answer. His favorite topic to teach was the Taylor Series from Unit 10, arguably students’ least favorite and hardest topic to grasp. “It’s amazing what they can do,” he says, appreciating their beauty and practical applications. Whether we’re learning about slope fields with boats flowing in a river, or graphing asymptotes without allowing the chickens to escape, Mr. Laux adds humor to every lesson. He inspires students to tackle even the toughest subjects in this challenging course with confidence and enthusiasm.

Outside of his passion for math, Mr. Laux has a fine taste in music and food. To relax, he listens to “Feathers” by Sabrina Carpenter and “Hold My Hand” by Jess Glynne. Glynne is featured on his “math wall of fame” among historical mathematicians and Harry Styles. If you listen carefully to 1:13 of her music video, you’ll notice that she says, “I’m ready for this.” However, it sounds like she’s singing “I’m Leibniz,” which is why she is placed right above Leibniz’s picture. Styles debuted on the wall many years ago during a lesson on 1-dimensional particle motion when a student exclaimed 1-Direction. Mr. Laux created this wall to show students that there are people behind the complex theorems and formulas they learn. “It didn’t just fall out of the sky, it fell out of a tree,” he says. His comfort foods include red grapes, organic frozen cherries from Costco, and his favorite — white chocolate macadamia nut cookies with a splash of sprinkles. Once during the holidays, when our class shared a box of frosted sugar cookies, Mr. Laux taught us a life lesson. Being a fan of cookies and never wanting to let them go to waste, he told us to never take the second-to-last cookie in a cookie jar. According to him, no one will ever take the last cookie, so it’s better to always just take the last two. It made some wonder if he was trying to teach us a lesson, or if he just wanted to eat more cookies.

As he prepares for retirement, Mr. Laux looks forward to spending more time with his two grandchildren and working on his bass riffs. When asked what he will miss most about teaching, he humorously mentioned his emotional attachment to his blackboard. Halfway through the school year, he switched the class around and ditched the dry-erase whiteboard for the old-school chalkboard. “It’s like how we did it in the ’30s, not the 1830s, you know,” he said.

If you’ve ever caught yourself daydreaming or staring outside at the infamous purple car, wondering if his class was right for you, Mr. Laux has advice. For students struggling with math, Mr. Laux suggests finding a different focus in life. “There’s a lot more things out there than math,” he says. While he believes that math is an important subject, he emphasizes the importance of exploring various interests beyond the realm of mathematics. 

Jokes aside, thank you for your service at Tenafly High School, Mr. Laux. You have inspired countless students and staff, touched the souls (or hearts? or minds?) of many, and have left us with unforgettable memories. You will be deeply missed, but I wish that your retirement is filled with happy reminders of your time at THS. Bye-bye to the BC boss, the one and only, Mr. Laux.

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About the Contributor
Kavya Chettur
Kavya Chettur, Senior Staff Writer
Kavya Chettur ('25) is excited to be a Senior Staff Writer for The Echo! She is interested in covering stories related to current events, student life, and science. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, playing lacrosse, and spending time with her friends and puppy, Benji. She looks forward to sharing her writing with an audience.