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Carole Larson In Memoriam

Apr 01, 2015 12:40PM ● Published by Jennifer Neys

Carole Larson, pictured in center.

By Marji Calbeck, Valhalla Elementary Principal

We are all very saddened by the death of Carole Larson, who passed away on March 15 from cancer. Mrs. Larson was a beloved teacher who taught fifth grade in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District for 25 years; her first three years were at Shore Acres and her last 22 at Valhalla Elementary, where she retired in 2010. During her time with MDUSD, Carole was not only actively involved at the site level, but she served on many district committees.  She was an integral part of the writing team for our Distinguished School designations in 2002 and in 2008 and had the opportunity to go to Disneyland to receive the awards.

As a member of the Children’s Literature Group, Carole traveled the world, including Australia, Egypt, and England, met authors, and visited the home of Beatrix Potter. She was also an active member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

A credentialed teacher, Carole incorporated her major in art into her classroom instruction. After she retired, we dreamed of sharing her expertise with all students at Valhalla, and an art program emerged. Fortunately, we were able to hire her back on a post-retirement contract to teach art to all of our students for the last five years. The art program is her wonderful legacy at Valhalla, and we will maintain the Carole Larson Art Room forever.

At Mrs. Larson’s memorial service on March 19, her life was described as analogous to a masterpiece. Her accomplishments, involvement with people and groups, and most of all, her family, were all parts of the fabric woven together to create the wonderful lady we loved. Whether you were one of her students, a parent of a student, a colleague, or a friend, you could not help but be touched by your relationship or connection to her. She was an inspiration to all of us. We miss her very much. 

I close with the following quote from her memorial service: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” -- Pablo Picasso


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