For his outstanding accomplishments as a Professor at Emporia State University, Gene is recognized on the Donors’ Wall of Fame by Stephanie Clements, Debbie Sack, Gary Plank, Elwin Plank, Kevin Plank, Tina Plank, and Sheryl Simonis.
According to Elwin:
Although I know Dr. Gene E. Plank because he is my father, I am only providing some background information and expressing my experiences as a student of his, because this is a tribute to his contribution to education. His educational experiences are very diverse. He has been an elementary teacher, an elementary principal, a school psychologist, a mental health counselor, and a professor.
Dr. Plank has taught at four elementary schools which include: Navarre Grade School in Navarre, Kansas; Walnut Grove Grade School in Woodbine Kansas; Grandview Plaza Grade School in Junction City, Kansas, where he also served as an administrator; and at William Allen White Elementary School in Emporia, Kansas. At one time, Gene was the only School Psychologist for the Emporia School System. Dr. Plank’s career also includes individual and family counseling at the Emporia Mental Health Center.
Dr. Plank has been an instructor at Emporia State University since 1964. He briefly left ESU for two years to complete his ED.D. at the University of Kansas, and then returned to Emporia State University, where he was eventually [promoted to a professor. During his tenure at ESU, I had the opportunity to enroll in three classes instructed by Dr. Plank I found him to be extremely dedicated and professional during my education at ESU. Dr. Plank has always been totally devoted to teaching students. He has always provided guidance and direction to his students. In his courses all of his students have the opportunity to learn and obtain a quality education.
Many of his former as well as current students have initiated conversations with me and commented on his expertise in the field, particularly special education. Some have even declared he was the main reason why they had become special education instructors. Several students have stated that they have never had a professor who spent more individual time with them or taught them more practical teaching strategies. He has always gone out of his way to help his students. I have know Dr. Plank to go to district to advise teachers who were having difficulty with disruptive students when it was not required. He has also enrolled students who were unable to get to ESU in time to complete this process. On many occasions, he has met with students on evenings and weekends.
In conclusion, I would simply like to state that all of his students (teachers) are more knowledgeable and better prepared to meet the needs of regular education as well as special education children because of his devotion to teaching. Nobody in education has given more of themselves that Dr. Plank, my dad.