Larson retires after 38-year teaching career


Larson relays instructions to her class. Photo by Natalie Meza

Alexa Di Novo, Staff Reporter

Around the holidays, Elk Grove’s English teachers can expect an individually-wrapped plate of cookies to appear in their mailboxes. 

Mary Larson is responsible for providing such a treat.

“She makes every single staff member in the English department this amazing tray of Christmas cookies,” English teacher Bonnie Kale said. “My kids even know to expect them now.”

Larson does it not only because she’s a great baker, but also because of her caring nature. As the school year comes to an end, so does Larson’s 38-year career as a teacher at Elk Grove, as she is retiring in June.

“She is kind and funny, and she can bake like nobody’s business,” Lisa Martineau, an English teacher who is also retiring from Elk Grove, said of Larson.

As bittersweet as it is to be leaving, Larson said that the time to retire was right, especially as all of her three kids are now grown up.

 “I’ve been here for so long that I know all of the custodians, I know all of the secretaries, I know all of the teachers,” Larson said. 

Photo by Natalie Meza

Although her teaching journey comes to an end, a new journey is just beginning. After retirement, Larson, who also previously advised the Guardian newspaper, plans on pursuing her dream of writing an interactive children’s book.

“I want to get some books published,” Larson said. “I have some ideas for some children’s books I want to write, and I would love to see a lot of little kids running around with my book.”

The book is no surprise considering that Larson reads everything she can get her hands on, according to her colleagues.

“Reading makes you a better person, and she sure is a good person, she really is,” Martineau said. 

Students echo the kind words of Larson’s peers. Graduating senior Caera Crimmins said that Larson is always available for her students, regardless of the situation.

“If you have something that you want to talk about, she’s not going to judge you if you ask about it, and she’ll give you real advice,” Crimmins said. 

Throughout her 38 years at EGHS, Larson has left an imprint on those around her. Kale said she looks up to Larson as a role model.

“She’s also such a wonderful mother, and I think that a lot of the working moms in this department really look up to her,” Kale said.

Photo by Natalie Meza

Along with being a great teacher, Larson’s colleagues admire Larson’s optimism. 

“Even when things look really cruddy sometimes in life, she rises to the occasion and will hug it out, shed a tear, or joke,” Martineau said. 

And although she’ll be missed by her students and colleagues, it’s her caring nature that resonates the most with staff members.

“I’m really grateful to have gotten to work with her for so long,” Kale said. “I think she can’t be replaced. We’ll always be teaching like Mary Larson.”