Ruby Bridges Elementary

1st Grade

Get to know us - Lara Webber

I am proud to have been teaching at Ruby Bridges Elementary for almost 10 years and I’m very excited about our new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) innovative program! Teaching is my second career and my true calling. My husband and I moved to California from New York City with our one year old son and found Alameda as our new home. As I began getting involved with my son’s development, I became interested in teaching and I became a parent advocate for First Five Alameda County. I voiced concerns about the unaffordability of quality preschool and the absence of a rating system for preschools that gave families some guide for choosing where to send their child. I helped award grants to organizations offering services to families with children 0-5 years such as Fairyland in Oakland. I got my teaching credential from Patten University and continued taking many professional development classes while teaching. Then I got my M. A. in Teaching Leadership from St. Mary’s College. I researched developmentally appropriate writing programs and tested oral rehearsals and digital recordings in improving the writing of young students.
While at Ruby Bridges, I implemented the full recycling program so that we would be part of this important district initiative. By participating in this program our students are learning about science and they are also taking part in a global initiative to reverse climate change. I have served on the Student Site Council and on the Leadership Team representing first grade. In 2015, I started a program called Learning Lab 504 where I invited community members from local businesses and organizations to come and share what they did and /or to lead a project that was aligned with our common core standards and was designed for first grade students. Makani-Google, an alternative wind energy company, Delphi Marketing and Brittney Shipp of KRON-4 were some of our guests.
I am a curious person, a lifelong learner and I’m passionate about teaching. I see the potential in every student and I look for their special talents or interests in order to encourage them. I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and I was raised by my single mom and my grandparents, who were teachers, and they basically let me figure out things by myself. It was the throw you in the deep end of the pool (after swimming lessons) to see if you can swim parenting style. My grandfather nurtured my creativity. For example, instead of buying coloring books for me, he encouraged me to make my own. I went to Millsaps College where I got a B.A. in Fine Arts. I interned at the local art museum. I traveled as much as I could with museums and art as my guides for travel and learning. As part of my college program, I studied art history in Paris after my sophomore year. Then I wrote an essay and qualified as an intern at the Smithsonian Institution in the summer after my junior year. I became a public relations assistant at the Resident Associate program in Washington, D.C. I helped out and attended all events possible at the Smithsonian and it was a life changing experience when I met my future employer, John Marion, who was the Chairman of Sotheby’s at the time. After graduating from college with a few interesting side jobs (stories for another time), I worked at Sotheby’s and then Jean Karajian Gallery. I got married and then I became a mother and took time to reevaluate what was important to me and how I wanted to live my life. That is when I began my teaching journey.

I love to draw and try to bring it to my teaching whenever possible. I also take a lot of photographs. I love to read and started a book club. We often have writers as guests to our club and it is a total pleasure. I like to be outside, to hike and to exercise.
Here’s a family photo of my son, Christopher, my husband, Rick and our chocolate Lab, Arrow.