Welcoming Lara Richardson


Lara Richardson stands with her beautiful family. Pictured from left to right: Grace (22), Life (16), Esther (6), Richardson, Husband Andrew, Abe (18), Naomi (20), and Richardson’s father-in-law.

Scarlett Campbell, Assistant Editor

This just in: Salida High School has a new teacher! Lara Richardson joined our wonderful SHS staff in October of this year after Audrey Gamache’s departure.

Richardson was born and raised in Newport Beach, California but moved to Colorado when she was six years old. After graduating high school in Denver, she attended the University of Northern Colorado where she received her undergraduate degree in Secondary English Education.

During her school years, Richardson was involved in her school’s newspaper. Along with teaching English she also serves as the new adviser for The Tenderfoot Times.

Looking back on her education she reflected, “I think high school was harder for me, I wasn’t the most academic student, […] I barely got into college at UNC and was actually on academic probation. In high school I just wasn’t inspired but something about college just lit a fire under me. I realized that I had my whole life ahead of me and that I was the one in charge of it.”

After graduating college, Richardson taught briefly at an alternative high school. But soon she got married and started a family and after the arrival of her first child, she decided to put a hold on teaching to focus on her family. Five kids and two decades later, she went back to school to receive her Master’s Degree in creative writing from Western Colorado University.

This is Richardson’s first teaching job in almost 22 years and she is loving every second of it. “It’s been a lot of fun getting to know my students, and everyone has been very welcoming. I love learning and I enjoy seeing other people learn.”

Richardson is a very devoted wife and mother and has been very open about her love of motherhood. She met her husband through her job as a rafting and rock climbing guide after a week-long backpacking trip together in the Collegiate Peaks. The Richardsons have five children, Grace (22), Naomi (20), Abe (18), Life (16), and Esther (6), whom they adopted. “We took our four kids on our first family rafting trip down the San Juan for a week. We got home around 10 pm since our girls wanted to be back for Homecoming the next day, and at two in the morning we got a phone call from social services. An hour later, two police officers brought six-week-old Esther to our door.”

Richardson and her husband Andrew are also avid ranchers and run the Richardson Cattle Company together with their extended family. “The ranch ties us to the earth, the seasons, the sunrise and sunset, the temperature, and also to where our food comes from. It ties us to life,” she explained.

They mostly raise cows and hay. Richardson’s children are also very active ranchers. “Our kids have all grown up ranching, irrigating and cutting hay, driving tractors, moving cows and branding calves. It’s a great place to raise kids, and I absolutely love it.”

Richardson also has a fondness for gardening and has a new ongoing obsession with dino kale. She has a passion for reading and writing and spends a great deal of time devoting herself to those activities.

Richardson also finds herself very strong in her faith. “Being outside is a sanctuary. Everywhere I look I see God showing me he’s real by what he’s made.”

Through all of Richardson’s many jobs and loves, the common theme is growth. We can’t wait to see how she grows here and leaves her mark at SHS.