Ectchepare feels appreciated after 35 years at Sheridan Elementary

By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Name: Laurel Etchepare Age: 59 City: Roseville Occupation: Kindergarten/first grade teacher at Sheridan Elementary School Why did you start teaching at Sheridan Elementary School 35 years ago? I was from a very small town and had done my teaching in San Jose, a very big city. I wanted to go back to a small town and small school. I went to San Jose State for my teaching credential and went to UC Davis to get a bachelor’s degree in English. Have you always taught kindergarten and first grade? It’s always been a kindergarten/first-grade or first-grade/second-grade combination. I taught one year of combined fifth- and sixth-grades. I grew up in Maxwell, Calif. In college, I ran the town’s recreation program in the summer and I enjoyed working with that age group. When did you know you wanted to be a teacher? I think I was in kindergarten and I really liked my teacher and knew that’s what I wanted to do. Why did you want to be a teacher? I liked working with kids, even when I was a kid. My mom and dad did a lot of volunteer work with kids in our community and I saw that example from them. Why have you stayed at Sheridan Elementary for 35 years? I feel appreciated here and I like seeing a lot of the students I have had come back and say hi or I teach their kids. I’ve been allowed to teach the way I like to teach, which is by being a part of the community. What do you like about being a teacher? I like that every day is different. You never know what will happen in the classroom, no matter what you plan for. I like working with the kids, seeing them learn. What do you like to do when you’re not working? I like to swim and read actual books, not e-books. We have a family cabin up at Lassen and I like to spent a lot of time up there, whether it’s hiking, fishing or hanging out with relatives. Do you have any hobbies? During the summer, I teach private swim lessons in my hometown. It’s a little extra money and my mom is 84-years-old so it’s a chance to help her out. Part of the fun is a lot of my classmates and old friends still live there. If you would like to see a neighbor or friend featured here, please e-mail or call Stephanie Dumm at 774-7967.