Position: Special Ed Teacher/Director
School: Magnolia Intermediate School
School District: Pleasant Ridge Union School District
City, State: Grass Valley, California
About the Nominee: Maria LaRash was nominated by Carrie Lyman, the parent of a student. Ms. LaRash has always gone above and beyond for her students. She takes a special interest in each person as an individual. She has guided Ms. Lyman's daughter, who has special needs, through a very tough transition into middle school from elementary school. Ms. LaRash has a wealth of knowledge and special talents to help her students feel loved and supported, while also being appropriately challenged. All this is predicated upon each student's unique needs, which are constantly changing due to their own growth and development. She takes her job very seriously and has earned the title of "my school mom" from Ms. Lyman's daughter. She has helped Ms. Lyman's daughter feel safe in a very overwhelming atmosphere, and she helps her develop the confidence she needs to succeed, not only in school, but in life. Ms. LaRash is always available for her students and has a bright, positive and encouraging attitude. Ms. Lyman states that she cannot say enough great things about her. She is a tremendous asset to the school, to her community and to families in the district. Ms. Lyman and her family are very grateful for her dedication, expertise and loving ways!