Noting that education is a means by which to escape poverty for children and adults alike, Diane Laverne Kusler Larson always felt that she needed to serve others and help children learn and grow. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree, she served Cokato Elementary School in Minnesota as a teacher from 1962 to 1964 before serving in the same role at Lakeview Elementary School in Minnesota from 1964 to 1966. From there, she became a vocal teacher at Wheaton High School in Minnesota from 1966 to 1967 and a teacher at Owatonna Elementary School from 1967 to 1988, where she also served as principal from 1988 to 1998. At the conclusion of her career in 2008, she was a reading specialist, a position she held for 10 years.
Ms. Larson is a certified teacher and principal in the state of Minnesota. Alongside her primary career responsibilities, she served Cannon Valley Uniserv Education Association in Mankato, Minnesota, as vice president, as well as the World Confederation of Organizations of the Teaching Professions as a delegate. During her tenure in education, Ms. Larson affiliated herself with a number of prestigious organizations in executive positions of increasing responsibility. Elected to the board of directors of the National Education Association, International Literacy Association, Minnesota Education Association and Minnesota Reading Association, she is a past president and legislative chair of Delta Kappa Gamma and president of the Women’s Club of Owatonna, serving recently from 2018 to 2019. Likewise, she maintains affiliation with the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association and Valley City State University Alumni Association.
When asked of her career highlights, Ms. Larson cites becoming an elementary school principal as a crowning achievement because she was afforded the opportunity to make changes in a school she believed in. Additionally, she is proud of being elected to the board of directors of both the National Education Association and International Literacy Association. Further, she is grateful for the network of individuals she met in the leadership sphere.
Formerly married to the late Donald Floyd Larson and recently married to Frank Friday Omoike, Ms. Larson has been mentored by such figures as Mary Hattwood Futrell, the president of the National Education Association, and Dorothy Smith, a reading coordinator. Ms. Larson has been highlighted in over 20 Who’s Who publications since 1991.
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