Laura Pickering retired on June 30 after 40 years as a teacher in this valley. Many students fondly remember the lessons, the field trips, and the fun in her classes.
Here is an excerpt of a brief biography:
I was born the eldest of four children to a working-class poor family. We moved often (I attended four different schools in Grade 2!) but I loved to learn. School was a place I could shine and be me. I dreamed of becoming a teacher. I graduated with multiple scholarships, all expenses paid to my choice of university anywhere in the USA.
In 1975 I earned a BA in English (summa cum laude) in Colorado, USA, in the 1990s a diploma in curriculum and instruction from UBC (without the Internet!), and in 2008 an MA in teacher leadership from Gonzaga. I’ve been teaching 40 years (10 of those at home on a cattle ranch with my children). I believe the most positive impact any human being can have for others is to mentor them to become their best.
My assignments with School District #26 and then, after amalgamation, School District #73 have always been in the Clearwater area, but the grade levels ranged from Kindergarten to Grade 12, head teacher in the two-room school in Birth Island, alternate high school (with former teacher John Harwood), English as a second language, and home-hospital teacher for a student who became deaf at age eight. I sponsored several student-teachers as well, among them Don Poelzer (now the principal of Juniper Ridge Elementary in Kamloops).
March 1976 was my first full-time job at Raft River School, making this past spring my 40-year teaching anniversary! Last year I taught a grand-daughter of one of my first students! My former students have become friends. It feels good to love and serve so many and to know I made a positive difference in their lives.