Truckee Hometown Sears – Sierra Sun select seventh Teacher of the Year finalist
Special to the Sun
TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Truckee High School math teacher Diane Laroche has been selected a Truckee Hometown Sears-Sierra Sun Teacher of the Year finalist. Laroche was recognized for her creativity and ability to inspire students. Nominators described her ability to help students struggling in math by making the class entertaining.
and#8220;She is truly a great teacher,and#8221; wrote a former student nominator. and#8220;She is not only following the California State requirements, but she always adds personality to her lessons.and#8221;
The selection committee acknowledged the lasting impact Laroche has made on her students. The committee commends her passion and enthusiasm after more than 30 years of teaching. On May 10, Charles Riley, owner of the Truckee Hometown Sears Store, presented Laroche with a finalist certificate and $100 shopping spree award at his store.
It hasnand#8217;t reached Billboardand#8217;s Hot 100 but Diane Larocheand#8217;s pre-calculus students can sing you a song all about math. Students also remember to and#8220;plug it in, plug it inand#8221; when doing algebra, and always pay attention to patterns because and#8220;it is in the pattern and#8230; donand#8217;t you know!and#8221; Larocheand#8217;s students speak a common language because of all the tricks and devices she has taught. Her ability to make complex mathematics accessible and memorable is one reason why Diane Laroche has been selected as a Teacher of the Year finalist.
Diane Laroche was born in Lewiston, Maine. As a young girl she loved to pretend to be a teacher when playing with her siblings. Laroche knew wanted to become a teacher but was not sure of what subject she should teach until she was in high school.
In high school, Larocheand#8217;s trigonometry teacher Mrs. Isaacson told her she should consider teaching math. Isaacson, a holocaust survivor who would later advocate for womenand#8217;s rights as a Dean of Bates College, was a major influence. As a high school junior, Laroche decided to pursue a career teaching math.
Laroche attended St. Josephand#8217;s College in Windham, Maine. At the time, St. Josephand#8217;s was a womenand#8217;s college with only three students studying math. Small classes allowed Laroche to receive extra attention and an excellent mathematics education. Laroche graduated and went on to teach eight years at her alma mater, Lewiston High School, before moving to Truckee for her husbandand#8217;s work in the ski industry. She has now been teaching at Truckee High School for 28 years.
Laroche is proud of her accomplishments at Truckee High School, particularly for her instrumental role in originating the math honors program. In addition, she served as department chair for 17 years. Laroche also is a member of National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the California Mathematics Council.
Truckee High School principal Dr. David Putney praises Larocheand#8217;s career.
and#8220;Diane has been in the community for more than 25 years,and#8221; said Putney. and#8220;She has taught hundreds of our Truckee children. She works regularly with her teacher colleagues and is willing to share her thoughts, ideas, and suggestions.and#8221;
Putney describes Laroche as a very passionate and committed teacher.
and#8220;Diane is committed to our students and willing to go the extra mile,and#8221; said Putney. and#8220;On a regular basis she stays late to work with struggling students to ensure their success.and#8221;
Laroche is grateful to work with incredible colleagues and students. She appreciates her great department and its collaborative and helpful culture. After all of the years, Laroche still loves her job and looks forward to getting up in the morning and going to work.
and#8220;I just love the kids,and#8221; said Laroche. and#8220;They keep me young and keep me enthusiastic!and#8221;
She is committed to help her students see where math can take them and discover what they can do with it.
and#8220;Math is so important in society because of where we are going with technology,and#8221; said Laroche, who strives to create lessons that are visual and hands-on. and#8220;It is wonderful when you see them get it!and#8221;
Laroche enjoys being able to work in a tightly knit community with great kids and involved parents. She takes pleasure in the opportunity to now teach former studentsand#8217; children and see some of her students become teachers themselves. Laroche says it is pleasure having known and worked with such incredible young people. Like influential teachers from her past, Laroche has had a lasting impact on students.
and#8220;Mrs. Laroche was a huge factor in my decision to wanting to become a math teacher,and#8221; wrote a former student nominator. and#8220;I want to be just like her, helping students with a class that most struggle with and make it entertaining in a creative way.and#8221;
Laroche not only wants students to be confident about math but in all areas of their lives. Laroche stresses the importance of investing in youth because they will have the and#8220;huge responsibilityand#8221; to lead our country in the future, and education will give them the power to do it.
and#8220;They should always have faith in themselves and reach for the stars,and#8221; said Laroche. and#8220;I want them to look for their passion and go for it.and#8221;
Laroche says she is not going to retire, that she just is not ready yet, but she will when she gets the sense she is no longer effective. It is hard to imagine that will ever happen.
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