For her outstanding contributions as a physical education teacher, Norma is recognized on the Donors’ Wall of Fame by family, friends, and colleagues of Emporia, Kansas.
Norma Hodges is being honored in The National Teachers Hall of Fame by friends and colleagues. Her unflagging energy and enthusiasm is an inspiration for us all.
Norma grew up in rural Kansas, where she helped on the farm and learned the vale of hard work, strong values and moral principles from her parents and community. She continues to live these traits. She attended Lancaster Grade School and Effingham High School. She was an active 4-H member during these years and resumed participation as a leader when her children became members. As an education major, she earned her BSE in 1965, and her MSE in 1984. Her teaching career began in Chase County, where she taught for five years. In 1976, she began teaching physical education at Emporia High School, and in 1994, was named Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year. “In physical education class,” she says “everything we do is interacting with a student, from figuring out problems to playing and competing. When dealing with students, teachers learn as much from them as they learn from us.” One of her students said, “She is one of the only teachers who can get any student to do anything. She has those ways to talk people into doing anything. I love her.” She retires as the department head of one of the strongest physical education departments in the nation.
For Norma, life is about family, friends and others, never about self. her husband, Dale, and three daughters: Faith Aimee, and Hope are always first in her life. Now that grandkids are also in the family, one rarely talks with Norma without hearing the names of kids and grandkids sprinkled throughout the conversation. In fact, “Norm” will be embarrassed as she reads this because she doesn’t seek any limelight or recognition. Her job is to be the best, and any less effort would be unacceptable. Life is never about her…it is always about others. When receiving praise or honers, she will actually look down and mover her feet and one can almost hear ‘Aw, I’m just a country girl.”
Looking for antiques, playing with grandkids, helping out family are all activities that Norma loves…and the one exception to never thinking of herself…a Harley. Grandma rides a Harley!
James A. Michener once stated:
The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows with is which. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. Norma Hodges is a master in the art of living.
Throughout these years she has impacted the lives of thousands of young girls, and hundreds of aspiring student teachers, all of whom greet her warmly after many years.