2021 Woman of Distinction – Rosamaria Laursen

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Rosamaria Laursen (Instructional Leadership Biliteracy Coordinator, School District of Beloit)

Rosamaría Laursen’s life is heavily influenced by the people who came before her.  Rosamaría’s father came to the United States from Mexico as a young man and her mother, born in Texas, worked in the farm-fields during most of her childhood.  Despite their limited schooling,  Rosamaría’s parents taught her and her five siblings to value education,  to work hard to reach their goals, and to live a life of service.

Rosamaría is the Biliteracy Instructional Leadership Coordinator for the School District of Beloit. She holds an MS.Ed in Reading Education (K-12) from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She also holds licenses in educational leadership, bilingual education, English as a Second Language, early childhood and elementary education.

She has worked in Milwaukee Public Schools, Jefferson Elementary School  in Janesville, Turtle Creek Elementary in Delavan, Robinson Elementary School in Beloit and at the district level in the School District of Beloit.

Rosamaría is dedicated to improving and expanding the linguistic and cultural opportunities for the children and their families in Beloit and in Wisconsin. She is proud to have led the implementation of the Dual Language Program in the School District of Beloit, which started in 2012. This program focuses on improving the educational outcomes for English learners, however it is open to all students, regardless of their abilities in Spanish.

Rosamaría has served on various boards and committees over the years, such as the Wisconsin Association of Bilingual Education [WIABE], the State Superintendent’s Advisory Council to Support Linguistically Diverse Students,  the Stateline Literacy Council, the Beloit Literacy for Life Initiative, and the Latino Service Providers Coalition. Rosamaría has also served on review panels for language development standards and assessments for WIDA- (Wisconsin Center for Educational Research) and the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, D.C. She is also a  nationally-trained facilitator of S.E.E.D. (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) and is currently co-facilitating a cohort which includes people from the School District of Beloit, School District of Beloit Turner, and various other agencies across Beloit and the rest of Rock County.

Rosamaría is married to Michael Laursen, who was born and raised in Beloit. They like to spend time together with their four children and all their activities, as well as traveling, woodworking, gardening and just enjoying life.