Face to Face: Tonganoxie Recreation Commission’s Lisa Large
Name: Lisa Marie Large
Born: Glen Elder
Family: Children, Kenisen, a second-grader at Tonganoxie Elementary School and Conlan, a kindergartener at TES.
Occupation: Residential coordinator at Cottonwood, Inc., in Lawrence.
Dream job as a child: Large wanted to be a coach when she was growing up.
Interesting fact: Large has been involved in the March of Dimes since 2002. But after both her children were born premature, her involvement increased. She now serves on the walk committee and as the family team representative and team captain for her personal family team. They are known as the "Large" Babies.
Digging deeper: Large is a 1993 graduate of Waconda East High School in north central Kansas. She still holds the school record in three track events, ones that never will be broken — the school consolidated a few years ago and now is part of Lakeside Downs.
She then graduated from Kansas University in 1998 with a degree in education, but it was another profession that caught her eye during college.
“I was working at Cottonwood all through college and fell in love with this place,” Large said. “I couldn’t ask for a better place to work.
“So instead of teaching and coaching, I stayed here and I’m so grateful I did.”
Cottonwood is a nonprofit organization that was established to provide services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Large is a board member for the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission and does volunteer guardianship work through the Kansas Guardianship program. She’s been involved with that organization for nearly 11 years.
In her spare time, Large also loves to run. She averages 50 miles monthly.
“My motto is ‘tough times don't last, tough people do,’” she said. “I grew up on a farm watching my dad work long, hard hours. I feel I have that same drive and push myself in all I do. My heroes are my children.”