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For her outstanding contributions as an elementary school teacher, Fern is recognized on the Donors’ Wall of Fame by Lois Balkenhol of Emporia, Kansas.

Fern Monroe was the nominee from USD #506 for the 1976 Kansas Teacher of the Year. Her selection was made from the 110 certified teachers in the district. The most important single qualification was a superior ability to inspire love of learning in all students. In her teaching career, Mrs. Monroe served three times as president of the county and local teachers’ association. She served three times on the district’s elementary textbook selection committee. She also used her talents to benefit her community. She was education Chairman for the American Cancer Society, is the Superintendent of the rural Zion Hill Church, as well as pianist, bible teacher, and coordinator of summer Vacation Bible School for local children.

Fern Marshall Monroe was the eldest of six girls, whose father died in 1932 when she was 15. Living on a farm with limited income, the family managed to survive with the help of their loving neighbors. Her mother, a former school teacher, home-schooled her in her first year of school. After graduation from high school, with honors, in 1935, she took the Normal Training exams and started teaching all grades the next year in a rural, one-room schoolhouse.

Fern supported the family almost entirely until her sisters, two and four years younger, followed the same teaching pattern. Their summers were spent furthering their education at Pittsburg State College, where Fern finished her Bachelor’s Degree in 1959.

Fern was married in 1942, to Duane Monroe. They had a son, Duane, Jr. Unfortunately, Fern’s husband died in 1988.

After teaching forty years, the last 23 in the same school, Fern retired in 1980. She became active in the Parsons chapter of AARP in 1981, and held most offices. She was given the Community Service Award in 1996, while holding the Secretary-Treasurer position of the AARP Past President’s organization. She has also held all offices in Alpha Delta Kappa sorority, the Altamont ABW White Cross (which sews for missions), and meets once a month socially with retired teachers.

Would you believe this busy 83 year-young grandmother is now babysitting her seven year old grandchild, Carmen? What a LUCKY little girl!

How do I know so much about this lady? She’s the one I typed tests and lesson plans for and the one who paid for my private piano lessons and the first brand new dress I ever owned. She’s my sister, whom I dearly love.

Fern was a very conscientious teacher, spending most evenings and weekends grading papers and preparing for the next weeks’ lessons.