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Fallbrook's CalRTA honors Temecula resident with $3,000 scholarship


Last updated 12/31/2016 at Noon

Pictured third from the left is Catarina Lara, California Retired Teachers Association (CalRTA) scholarship recipient. Her fiancé Mauricio Guido (holding their son 5-month old Emiliano) and her mother Kelley Lara stand with her. Marilee Ragland on the far left and Sandra Bell and Sally Whitlock on the far right are CalRTA members who presented Catarina with her scholarship certificate.

FALLBROOK – The Fallbrook branch of the California Retired Teachers Association (CalRTA) awarded Temecula resident Catarina Lara with the Laura E. Settle Scholarship of $3,000. This prestigious honor is only given to 30 statewide recipients.

Lara is a graduate from Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM), where she is completing her studies for a California teaching credential. At the bimonthly meeting of the local CalRTA Division 81 on Dec. 14, Lara was presented a certificate for the scholarship. The award, which was funded by the Laura E. Settle Scholarship Foundation, is meant to be for the upcoming semester.

Lara is literate in English and Spanish. She said education has always been an important part of her life. She earned associates degrees from Mt. San Jacinto Community College in liberal studies and child development before attending CSSM. She is currently employed by a child development center.

“Lara is hard working, dependable and a team player," said Alicia Wonacott, Catarina’s master teacher at La Vorgna Elementary School in Winchester, Calif. "Her love for children and teaching is evident in all that she does. From this passion, she is willing to do more than her share of the responsibilities at hand and to always continue growing as a professional. I have been teaching for over a decade and have rarely come across a person so natural in their ability and understanding of effective teaching. She is an asset to any school or educational environment.”

Lara’s goal as a teacher is to motivate, encourage and show her students that learning is fun.

CalRTA is an organization with many divisions throughout the state. The organization was founded in 1929 by Laura E. Settle, an elementary school teacher in Pasadena, who served as CalRTA president for 16 years. In the early 1950s the Laura E. Settle Scholarship Foundation was created in memory of their primary founder.

Working with California state universities each year, this foundation awards 30 $3000 scholarships to worthy junior, senior and graduate students who are completing their studies to become teachers. These scholarships are funded primarily through contributions and bequests from CalRTA members.


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