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Larson takes over as St. Mary's School principal

Brittany Larson

WORTHINGTON -- Brittany Larson may be taking on a new role at St. Mary's School, but she's already familiar with the students.

Larson, a native of the Rushmore area, has taught second and third grade there since 2006. Former principal Barb Daly has been helping her with the transition to administration.

"We've had a great leader here for the last nine years, and she's encouraged me to do this from day one," Larson said. "I prayed a lot about it, I asked for advice from my parents and husband. It felt like the right fit."

Larson graduated from Adrian High School in 2001, attending classes at Minnesota West Technical and Community College during her junior and senior year. She graduated from South Dakota State University in 2004 and earned a bachelor's degree in early childhood education with a specialization in birth to third grade.

After college, she began working as a substitute teacher in area schools before landing a job as a special education paraprofessional. Larson spent a year teaching Prairie Elementary kindergartners to read with AmeriCorps Reading Corps, and began teaching K-5 physical education while at the school. She earned her master's degree in education from St. Mary's University in 2007.

Larson said she's looking forward to working with the parish's two new priests and three new teachers, building a sense of Christian community and promoting academic success.

"The gift I feel I have been given from God is to lead others. As a teacher you use that ability everyday but I felt I was supposed to use my leadership abilities in another way," she said.

"Ever since I was offered the position, all the teachers and students and parents have been really supportive. It's affirmation that's it's the right decision for me."

When she's not working as an educator, Larson enjoys raising cattle with husband Matt, redecorating homes, reading, watching friends race at the Nobles and Murray County speedways, hanging out at the lake, and spending time with friends and family--especially her nine nieces and nephews.

Her favorite part is the enthusiasm students bring to class.

"When I was little, I don't remember running through the doors of the school and giving high fives and being excited to be there," she said. "Our kids succeed very well in ... academics and I'm hoping that'll continue this year. This school has potential."