For her outstanding contributions as a middle school teacher, Ann is recognized on the Donors’ Wall of Fame by Darla Mallein on behalf of Emporia Middle School, Emporia, Kansas.
It has been my pleasure to work with Ann Eldridge for eleven years at Emporia Middle School. I can always tell which of my students have had Mrs. Eldridge because they are usually the ones who like social studies because she has turned them on with hands-on projects rather than off with dull, dry facts!”
One of Ann’s most outstanding characteristics as a teacher was her creativity and her ability to design projects and activities that motivated her seventh graders to learn about world history and various countries around the world. Since much of her teaching was student-centered, many of the social studies materials used in Ann’s classroom consisted of projects and activities that were created by her students to demonstrate what they had learned about the topic they were studying.
Some of the outstanding projects that Ann’s students shared with their classmates over the years include: a report on King Henry VIII in which the student dressed up in purple tights, a feathered velvet cap and pantaloons; a student dressed in a full suit of armor; models of catapults; cakes in the shape of countries; a sculpted bust of Caesar; a model of Iran, complete with six tiny oil derricks; a model of Hanging Garden of Babylon, complete with irrigation system; a wooden horse two fee tall, complete with working hidden trap door; a sixteen foot Chinese dragon that required four people to “man” it; and an oil well that really pumped.
Ann also helped her students make connections to the real world by inviting guest speakers into her classroom, taking her students of field trips, co-sponsoring trips for middle school students to the East Coast, and sharing her own travel experiences with her students. In addition, Ann’s enthusiasm for teaching and her love for students made her a popular and well-respected teacher. Ann was also active professionally in our district by serving on many committees and serving as president of our local NEA.
On a personal level, Ann was also my mentor. She is the one I often sought for advice on classroom and career situations. She is the one I modeled my classroom after. In fact, the highest compliment any student can give me is to say, “You’re just like Mrs. Eldridge!” Ann will be greatly missed by both faculty and students after her retirement.
Ann was a middle school teacher for thirty years. From 1963-1993, she was a seventh grade Social Studies teacher at Emporia Middle School. Ann also taught fifth and sixth grade Social Studies.