LA CROSSE, WI (WKBT) - Hawaiian shirts, creative pizzas and unending patience all come to mind when talking about December's Top Notch Teacher.
While the kids in his classroom are well taught, they're also well fed.
It takes one to know one might be the best way to explain why Larry McMahon is such a beloved teacher.
"They Keep me young," said 4th Grade Northside Elementary teacher Larry McMahon.23253610
He's a kid at hear and you don't have to look far to see evidence of his fun-loving, creative style. He wears Hawaiian shirts and Tye-dye shoes.
"It's just a lot of fun. Working with the kids is extremely rewarding," said McMahon.
His kids pretty much agree on his best qualities.
"He's funny. He's nice," said 4th grade student Mercedes Krans.
"He's funny, nice," said 4th grade student Ryan Bye.
But it's not all fun and games, McMahon says to be a good teacher, you also have to be patient.
"No one gets it the first time and you need patience and you need to work with these kids and make sure they get it before you move on," said McMahon.
But his patient, youthful spirit doesn't only come in handy in the classroom.
Larry owns the popular and creative Pizza Doctor's restaurant.
"I've always said, "Really I have two hobbies. One is Pizza Doctors and one is teaching,'" said McMahon.
And from a fourth graders perspective, it's not a bad thing to have on your teacher's resume.
"I provide a lot of pizza at school when we do the after school program. We take a field trip to Viterbo for the Nutcracker every year and we always make sure we stop for lunch at Pizza Doctors," said McMahon.
And while teaching and running a restaurant are two full-time jobs on their own, McMahon never tires of helping his students and his employees grow.
"I don't like to say it out loud but I'd probably do either one without getting paid," said McMahon.
McMahon says another thing he's learned from teaching and working is to be open to new ideas that his employees or students suggest.
He says someone may always have a better way to do something and you should always be open to new ideas.
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