A wreath honors those included on the Memorial to Fallen Educators during last year’s rededication ceremony, June 22, 2017, in Emporia, Kansas. (Photo by Will Austin/Emporia State University)
Following the passage of the bill recognizing the Memorial to Fallen Educators as a national site, Emporia State University and the National Teachers Hall of Fame will host a rededication ceremony June 21, 2018. At the ceremony, fallen teachers and staff members from the past year will be added to the memorial. Names include those of teachers and staff members from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, victims of recent school shootings.
The National Memorial to Fallen Educators honors teachers, administrators and staff members who lost their lives while working for our nation’s schools and was created in 2013, following the tragedy at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, where six educators lost their lives. The rededication ceremony comes after President Donald Trump signed a bill to nationally recognize the site on ESU’s campus. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) with bipartisan support from representatives and senators from 10 different states.
“We are ecstatic about the national memorial designation and are making big plans for the rededication ceremony,” said Carol Strickland, executive director of the National Teachers Hall of Fame, sponsor of the memorial.
The ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m., will consist of tributes for each of the 10 fallen educators and placing a white rose at the base of the memorial for each. In addition, the members of the Class of 2018 National Teachers Hall of Fame Inductees will place the class wreath and plant two redbud trees as their gift to the memorial site. A number of other dedications and speeches will take place, including from Sherry Shaw, the National Education Association Education Support Professional of the Year, and Dr. Anthony Salvatore, an administrator from Newtown, Connecticut.
Salvatore will also announce that the NTHF Museum will become the permanent home of a dream catcher, designed and created in 1999 by a Native American tribe in Minnesota to be presented to the students at Columbine High School after the tragic shooting. It has since moved to Minnesota, Connecticut and now resides in Parkland, Florida, after tragic school shootings in those states.
The National Teachers Hall of Fame is also raising funds to purchase a new granite book for the memorial. The recent deaths of teachers and staffers will fill the two current books with more teachers yet to add to account for those killed over the past 12 months. $17,000 is needed to begin the process of adding a book, with the final cost coming to $39,000. The National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers are helping the fundraising effort and are encouraging the community to help as well. For more information on donating to the cause, call the Hall of Fame at 620-341-5660 or go online to www.nthf.org. All donations are tax-deductible.
“Donating to the memorial is an excellent way for people to honor educators who have made a difference in their lives,” said Strickland. “No donation is too small, and larger donations are always welcome.”
Names to be added include:
- Ruth Berg, receptionist, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Aug. 2, 2017, natural gas explosion
- John Carlson, janitor, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Aug. 2, 2017, natural gas explosion
- Daniel Buesgens, buildings and grounds employee, Chaska Middle School East, Chaska, Minnesota, Jan. 8, 2018, fell from a ladder
- Richard Lee Proffitt, bus driver, Prince William County Schools, Bristow, Virginia, Feb. 5, 2018, struck and killed by another bus driver in the parking lot of the school transportation center
- Scott Beigel, teacher, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, Parkland, Florida, Feb. 14, 2018, school shooting
- Aaron Feis, security guard & football coach, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, Parkland, Florida, Feb. 14, 2018, school shooting
- Chris Hixon, athletic director, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, Parkland, Florida, Feb. 14, 2018, school shooting
- Jennifer Williamson, teacher, East Brook Middle School, Paramus, New Jersey, May 17, 2018, bus accident on field trip in Mount Olive, New Jersey
- Glenda Ann Perkins, substitute teacher, Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe, Texas, May 18, 2018, school shooting
- Cynthia Tisdale, substitute teacher, Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe, Texas, May 18, 2018, school shooting
Dignitaries expected to attend:
- Allison Garrett, ESU President
- Danny Giefer, Mayor of Emporia
- Dr. Jeff Colyer, Governor of Kansas
- Senator Jerry Moran or representative
- Congressman Roger Marshall or representative
- Mark Schreiber, Kansas Representative, District 60
- Jeff Longbine, Kansas Senator, District 17
- Dr. Anthony Salvatore, Newtown, Connecticut, administrator
- Anna Fusco, Florida Education Association official
- Noel Candelaria, Texas State Teachers Association and National Education Association (NEA) official
- Sherry Shaw of Alaska, National Education Association Education Support Professional of the Year
- Mark Farr, Kansas NEA President