Gonzalez’ family a mixture of cultures

Laura Gonzalez is an English as a second language teacher at Meadow View Elementary School in Alabaster. (Contributed)

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

As an English as a second language teacher at Meadow View Elementary, Laura Mason Gonzalez is a perfect fit.

Gonzalez once worked at a boarding stable where she fed, watered and cleaned stalls for about 20 horses. She’s worked as a waitress and, while attending Judson College, was a dining room girl. From graduation at Gardendale High School in 1999 to a diploma from Judson College in 2002, Gonzalez was running, reading, studying and working.

After college graduation, Laura went to Jefferson County to apply for a sub job. The lady taking fingerprints asked her if she spoke Spanish.

“I was sent down the hall and hired the next day” she recalled. Trussville, Irondale and several schools in Jefferson County have led Gonzalez to her present position at Meadow View.

In 2004, she went with a friend to Work Play to a salsa dance. Enrique Gonzalez caught her eye.

Four years and a few obstacles later, they were married.

“My parents took awhile to come around, but once they got to know and love him, he’s an integral part of our family.”

When they were first dating, people stared a lot, she said.

“People are now becoming more accustomed to couples of different races,” Gonzalez said. “We speak English and Spanish to each other and our children. Of course, all day long I am bilingual in my classroom.”

Sons Luke, 2-and-a-half, and Miller, 11 months, are the icing on the cake. The Gonzales family resides in a small Alabaster townhouse but look forward to a better economy and the chance for a bigger home and yard for their family.

Although well-traveled to such places as Canada, Austria, several countries in Europe, Singapore and Costa Rica, Gonzalez adds Australia and Ireland are on her “wish list.”

The Gonzales have found a home at Church of the Highlands, where they are nursery workers.

“Our goal for our children is that they grow up to be men of God and be proud of both their American and Mexican backgrounds,” Gonzalez said.