Marta Mouritsen reflects on the time she began teaching at Laurelwood Preschool, back in January 1986.
“When I first started teaching, the work hours were shorter,” Mouritsen says. “There were more stay-at-home moms who volunteered and the families were bigger. Back then, the dads never worked at the preschool. But now, we have dads who volunteer here all the time.”
Having taught at the Santa Clara-based parent co-op preschool for over 28 years, Mouritsen will retire this May. She will leave with warm memories of the students she’s worked with.
“The kids this age are great; they have a great imagination and they are loving and kind,” says Mouritsen, who works with four and five year-old children. “I try to present a good environment where children would like to learn and be comfortable coming here. For some children, it’s their first time being away from their parents.”
“[The most rewarding part of my job] is seeing my students all grown up or seeing them in plays or graduating from high school,” Mouritsen says and adds that former students often come back to visit her.
Tarini Kumar, also a teacher at Laurelwood Preschool, has worked with Mouritsen for seven years.
“[Marta]’s big on doing things for the holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter,” Kumar says. “For Valentine’s Day, she taught kids how to make puffy hearts with paper craft and for Easter, she does a Humpty Dumpty craft with the kids. I love working with [Marta]. She is a mentor. We will all miss her.”
Born and raised in Long Beach, Mouritsen currently lives in Sunnyvale and attends church in Santa Clara. Her children, now grown, attended school in Santa Clara. After she retires, Mouritsen will embark on big travel plans.
“I’d like to visit my grandkids, who live all over the United States,” she says. “I have family in Denver, Texas, Missouri, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and San Jose. I have seven children and 16 grandchildren. Four of my grandchildren have been students here at the preschool.”