Listee Features — Education

VIOLET IMHOF MEEK

As a child, Violet Imhof Meek dreamed of becoming a scientist. She was constantly curious about how things worked, and thought the field presented a great opportunity to learn. Ms. Meek worked hard to achieve her goal, earning a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from St. Olaf College in 1960 and a Master of Science from the University of Illinois in 1962. She was encouraged by a professor to turn her focus to chemistry, so she obtained a PhD in chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1964. Degrees in hand, Dr. Meek set out to advance her industry. She started out as an instructor of chemistry at Mount Holyoke College, but she left to join Ohio Wesleyan University

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MARY K. KNECHTGES

Growing up, Mary K. Knechtges loved playing sports with her older brothers. She learned a lot from them, but didn’t receive any formal training until junior high school. Girls weren’t really supposed to be into sports at that time, so she thought her gym teacher was the coolest for both being in the field and encouraging her. Ms. Knechtges admired the teacher so much that it inspired her to follow in her footsteps. She proceeded to earn a Bachelor of Science from Bowling Green State University in 1967 and land a job as a physical education, health, and English educator at L’Anse Creuse High School that same year. She also completed postgraduate coursework at Wayne State University between 1968 and

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SARAH C. GREENFIELD

With a wide variety of interests, Sarah C. Greenfield wore a lot of hats over the course of her career. She started out as a unit clerk at Strong Memorial Hospital, where she was responsible for filling in when employees went on vacation, and then she advanced to become a biochemical laboratory technician at Strong Memorial Hospital and Pabst Biochemical Laboratory. When Dr. Greenfield’s family moved to Arizona, however, she had to step down. She spent the next few years as a housewife and community volunteer, but she longed for something more. Dr. Greenfield stumbled upon counseling by chance, and she quickly realized she had found what she was meant to do. For the remainder of her professional journey, she

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Gloria Woolson

GLORIA MANUEL WOOLSON

Enthusiastic and caring, Gloria Manuel Woolson loved working with kids. She pursued academia because of her high school guidance counselor, who recognized her potential in the field, and quickly found she had made the right choice. After earning a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Oswego in 1965, Ms. Woolson got right to work. Her first professional position was fifth-grade teacher at Auburn Enlarged City School District, followed by sixth-grade teacher and third-grade teacher at Jordan-Elbridge Central School District, and adjunct teacher at Cayuga Community College and Onondaga Community College. She retired in 2017. As a lifelong learner herself, Ms. Woolson was always seeking to improve and get better. She knew she had to learn

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AMANDA LORETTA WALTON

Concerned about the state of the public education system, Amanda Loretta Walton felt compelled to contribute to the betterment of the field. She first needed to gain a better understanding of what she would be dealing with, however, so she earned an Associate of Arts from the Borough of Manhattan Community College in 1975. Ms. Walton supplemented her training with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and elementary education from York College, a Master of Science in special education from the City College of New York, and postgraduate coursework in school district administration from the City College of New York. She also became certified in school district administration, common branches, education for grades K-6, and medical aid through the

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BERNICE BELL JORDAN

Originally a musician, Bernice Bell Jordan decided to switch courses and become an educator so she could provide a better life for her daughter. She wanted to lead by example and show her the value of academia. Ms. Jordan proceeded to join the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District as an elementary teacher in 1959. She quickly garnered a reputation for her passion and dedication to her work and became a beloved member of the community. She remained at the school until her retirement in 1999. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Jordan enjoyed connecting with her peers. She is affiliated with organizations like the National Education Association, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the California Elementary Education Association, the

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LINDA SUZANNE MASON

When Linda Suzanne Mason was young, she loved participating in sports with her brother and the other boys in her neighborhood. She also really valued education, thanks to the influence of her parents. This made becoming a physical education teacher a natural choice; it combined both of her passions into one career. To help her achieve her goals, she earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from Indiana University in 1968 and 1977, respectively, as well as certification as a physical education teacher for grades K-12 in the state of Indiana. Degrees in hand, Ms. Mason set out to make her mark on the field. Her first professional position was physical education teacher at Woodview Junior High

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LOUISE FAY DESPRES

When Louise Fay Despres was young, her mother began giving her French lessons and opened the door to a world of possibilities. Ms. Despres fell in love with the language almost instantaneously; she found it beautiful and compelling. She pursued the subject all through her childhood, from home to the classroom, and even then she wanted to know more. She proceeded to complete coursework at the American School of Music in Fontainebleau, France, and to earn a Bachelor of Arts in French from Connecticut College for Women (now Connecticut College), and a Master of Arts in French from Middlebury College in Paris, France. Another one of Ms. Despres’ passions was academia. Both her father and her aunt were teachers, and

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LAURA BALATBAT CORPUZ

Born in the Philippines, Laura Balatbat Corpuz grew up with a deep appreciation for academia and the arts. She knew she wanted to contribute to the fields herself, so she obtained a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from National Teachers College in Manila, Philippines, in 1966. Ms. Corpuz spent the next three years as a teacher at Philippine Public School. She really liked her work, but she was looking for something more. When her friend suggested she move to the United States and find a job there, she decided to give it a shot. Ms. Corpuz proceeded to take U.S. history and library courses and completed tests to become a certified teacher in the state of Illinois. She also

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PAULYN M. COX

The only thing Paulyn M. Cox has ever wanted to be is a teacher. She was raised by a family that really valued education, and she knew she wanted to contribute to the field. The idea was solidified when she went to visit her cousin in Ohio and got the opportunity to help out in her classroom. From that point forward, Ms. Cox dedicated herself to pursuing her goal. She earned an Associate of Applied Science from the State University of New York in 1953 and a Bachelor of Arts from Ithaca College in 1958, and became certified as a teacher in the state of New York. Then, degrees in hand, she set out into the field. Ms. Cox’s early

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