KEARNEY – Three rural school teachers and one, one-room school student were honored during the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s (UNK) One Room, One Teacher ceremony on Friday, Sept. 15, at UNK’s College of Education building.
The program started in 2012 to honor teachers who taught in one-room schools. More than $185,000 has been raised to help support student scholarships. To date, there have been 62 one-room teachers honored through this program.
“The One Room, One Teacher program honors the legacy of rural schoolteachers in Nebraska,” said Dr. Sheryl Feinstein, dean of the University of Nebraska at Kearney College of Education. “This year, we are excited to recognize a one-room school student. Many Nebraska residents attended one-room schools and are now our teachers, business owners, health care providers and community leaders.”
Approximately 100 people attended the ceremony Friday, where the third annual student scholarships were awarded to the following:
Isabel De Leon Francisco, Grand Island, Elementary Education Field K-6
Nicole Hanson, Hastings, Early Childhood Inclusive
Rylee Jones, Columbus, Early Childhood Inclusive
Jacob Lovejoy, Bladen, Elementary Education Field K-6
Abbie Obermeier, Dannebrog, Elementary Education Field K-6
Alejandra Romero, Lexington, Elementary Education Field K-6
2017 One Room, One Teacher Honorees
Betty Saathoff Henning attended Trappers Grove one-room school house located 1.5 miles west of her family farm on the Buffalo/Dawson County line. Henning and her sisters walked to school most days. Henning was a student at Trappers Grove until she was a sophomore, and then went on to graduate from Miller School District in 1943. Henning enjoyed her time attending Trappers Grove and is grateful for the lessons learned and friends made as a student.
Edna McCall Hutchins attended and taught at a one-room school house a few miles from her family farm near Inavale, just north of the Republican River. After one year of teaching, Hutchins attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After graduating, she moved to California to be with family and eventually returning to Nebraska to marry Carleton Hutchins of Franklin. Hutchins was a very active member of the Franklin community.
Janna Bentley Pierce attended and graduated 8th grade from Redwing Country School in northwest Buffalo County. After earning her teaching degree from Kearney State College in 1975, Janna taught at Flatbottom School and Tufford School, both one-room schools in rural Custer County. Pierce continued to substitute and then taught at District #63, also known as Fairview School. After Fairview School closed, Pierce continued to teach and substitute and is now retired after 17 years of teaching full- and part-time.
Lois N. Shuck taught in one-room schools for a career spanning five decades. She taught through the Great Depression, World War II and into the Watergate era. Most of her years were spent teaching at Portland Heights School, but she also taught at Cadams and Hardy in Nuckolls County. After taking classes over the course of many summers, she received her degree from Nebraska State Teachers College in 1960.