University of West Florida Student Named Nancy Larson Foundation Scholar

Joanna Walters

Joanna Walters
Nancy Larson Foundation Scholar

Elementary Education major Joanna Walters awarded scholarship

Zephyrhills, FL (February 12, 2016) – University of West Florida student Joanna Walters has been named a Nancy Larson Foundation Scholar and awarded a $1000 scholarship in recognition of her inspiring personal narrative, excellent academic record and spirit of community service.

The Nancy Larson Foundation proudly supports students across the country majoring in elementary education by awarding scholarships to deserving students each year. Walters is one of nine recipients selected from the many applications received by the Foundation.

Walters, from a Puerto Rican family, moved to America at just four years old. “I was facing the beginning of a new home, new language and new school. I luckily entered a magnet school and was surrounded by passionate and caring teachers. School was my solace and I remember telling teachers, secretaries and janitors that I was going to be a teacher.”

“In elementary school, each subject was presented in such an interesting and engaging way that it fueled my love of learning and gave me the vision to impart this type of education to the next generation,” said Walters. “Yet as I grew up, I deviated from my plan and ended up a non-typical student who was wandering. Then as an aide at a special-needs school that light turned on again and my dormant dreams of teaching were given new life.”

“Joanna is a vibrant and passionate young lady who very much loves working with children with special-needs,” said Nancy Larson. “Her passion for education has propelled her to make sacrifices to reach her goals. The committee really likes to support students like this because their passion really does impact their classrooms.”

Juniors, seniors and graduate students who have declared an elementary education major are invited to submit a personal narrative about about why they want to teach, what personal experiences they have had that inspired them to teach and what will make them excellent teachers. Applicants are also asked to include community service activities and experiences they have had working with children.

Larson, a former teacher and curriculum director, has dedicated her life to advancing elementary education. Her original Saxon Math K–4 program was developed because teachers needed a classroom-tested math program that would prepare children for advanced math classes. In recent years, Larson has used the same approach to develop Nancy Larson Science for kindergarten through fourth-grade students. The program was written to provide in-depth science content in an easy-to-teach format.

To learn more about the Nancy Larson Foundation, visit

About Nancy Larson Foundation
The Nancy Larson Foundation, founded in 2006 in Old Lyme, CT, has a history of awarding prospective elementary educators scholarships to encourage and support their education. The Nancy Larson Foundation awards scholarships to the top entries. For entry deadlines and requirements, or more information on the Foundation, visit