Larson named Teacher of the Year
|Middlesex Teacher of the Year Patty Larson listens as Meeha Ferris reads from her journal. (Photo by Tom Chillemi)|
On May 24 a committee unanimously selected Middlesex Elementary School kindergarten teacher Patty Larson as the 2013 Teacher of the Year for Middlesex County Public Schools. Larson, an Urbanna native, has been teaching for 15 years.
As part of her application for teacher of the year, Larson wrote:
“The most rewarding moment in teaching is when a student picks up a book of his choice, reads it on his own, and cannot put it down! That is when I know I have succeeded as a teacher. Reading is the foundation of every course of study, and when a child learns to read and enjoy it, we have done our job.
The Southside Sentinel asked a few Middlesex Elementary School kindergarten students of Patty Larson to finish the sentence: “I like being in Mrs. Larson’s class because . . .”
- She’s special, happy and sweet; and teaches me to read all by myself. When there is a hard book, she reads to us. She is a great teacher. —Meeha Ferris
- She gives us new spelling words and then we can learn brand new words. —Lucas McMurtrie
- She helps me read. —Anna Crown
- She helps me write the words and get the words correct, and she helps me get the hard words. —Natalie J. Pack
- She helped me start writing the words to the songs we sing. —Hunter J. Fochtmann
“My grandmother, Mrs. Pat Russell, has been such a great influence in my educational career. Grandmother shared her love of reading with me, and always said, ‘If you learn to read, you can do anything.’ She made walking to get the newspaper an educational experience. I am blessed to have her, at 85 years old, volunteering in my classroom still today. Together we share our love of reading with my students.
“If you ask my kindergarteners now, I have challenged them to begin reading chapter books by the end of their first grade year. I’ve asked them to come back and share with me when they achieve this task. I will eagerly wait for this day,” said Larson.
Larson was notified of her distinction as she was teaching her 5-year-olds last week. She exclaimed, “Wow! This is really exciting!” Her students beamed with pride for their teacher.
Larson holds a bachelor of arts in elementary education from Longwood University.
She grew up in Urbanna and now resides in Locust Hill with her husband Erik and twin sons Simon and Patrick.