Memorial to Fallen Educators to be Expanded!

Emporia, Kansas; October 19, 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carol Strickland, Executive Director


The Board of Trustees of The National Teachers Hall of Fame [NTHF] voted unanimously at Friday’s annual strategic planning meeting that the Memorial to Fallen Educators will be expanded to include educators who have “fallen in the line of duty” on the higher education level.

The original memorial site, dedicated in June of 2014, tells the stories of 115 educators who lost their lives in their PreK-12 schools in America, dating back to 1764. Two recent tragedies led to the discussion of expanding the reach of the memorial: Larry Levine’s murder at Umpqua Community College in Oregon on October 1st and Dr. Ethan Schmidt’s murder at Delta State University in Mississippi on September 14th. Dr. Schmidt’s death touched many at Emporia State University, home of the Hall of Fame and the Memorial to Fallen Educators, because Dr. Schmidt received both his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Emporia State before earning his doctorate at The University of Kansas.

Melinda Whetzel, Former Chair of the NTHF Board of Trustees, explains that the action will not change the mission or the vision of the NTHF: “We will always be The National Teachers Hall of Fame that honors five outstanding career classroom teachers each year with induction into the Hall of Fame. The Memorial is a separate way to reach out to all educators at all levels now. We included teachers, administrators and education support professionals on our original memorial, and we think it is fitting to also memorialize our fallen educators from higher education.”

The task of fundraising and researching the names to be etched on the 6’ by 6’ black granite memorial will be a challenge, according to Carol Strickland, Executive Director. “We want to make sure that all eligible names are included from public and private colleges, universities, and technical colleges. We have no idea how many names there are, just as when we started the search for names for the original memorial. We are depending on people from all over the nation to help us find these names. Additionally, we will be asking donors to help us fund the cost of the memorial book, engraving, and installation, which will be around $50,000.”

Research and fundraising efforts are now underway. For more information or to help, contact NTHF at 1-800-96-TEACH [83224] or

Far from Complete

Many have asked us here in the office what we plan on doing with our time now that the memorial is complete. Complete? To us the first stages of the memorial is done but we still have a long way to go. Our goal is to make sure no fallen educator has been missed. We are still researching names to add to the memorial. We are still finding information and photographs of those already listed on the memorial. We are still raising funds to pay for the memorial’s long term upkeep and phase two of the project.

slide-2Phase two will allow us to provide the stories we have put on this site down at the memorial. We are raising money for outdoor kiosk that can be used by visitors of the memorial to look up information on each listed on it. Every name on the memorial has a story that we don’t ever want to forget. They are more than a name. They were a person and we want our visitors to know more about these individuals that gave their lives to protect this countries most precious resource, our children, our future.

So for us in the Nation Teachers Hall of Fame office, this labor of love is far from complete. It has just begun.

Some Special Thank Yous







These are some of the visionaries and builders that made the memorial dream a reality…

ESU wordmark_132


Dr. Michael Shonrock
Mark Runge
Rich Jensen

Emporia State University Facilities
Grounds Shop (Mark Morgan, Supervisor)
Carpentry/Paint (Jim Markowitz, Supervisor)
Electrical Shop (Al Ziesmer, Supervisor)
Plumbing Shop (Ty Gains, Supervisor)
Construction (Bruce Love, Supervisor)
Sign/Graphics (Kim Gaines, Graphic Designer)
Building Services (Gary Reno, Supervisor)

Granite and Stone Provided by
Keith & Kari Wallace
Deanna and Mark Wagaman

Evergreen Design
John Mallon
Justin Mallon
Tim Burton
Jay Turner
Albert Edelman

National Teachers Hall of Fame Board of Trustees
Lindy Whetzel, Chair
Dr. Tes Mehring, Vice Chair
Mark Andrews
Roy Bishop
Theresa Davidson
Keith Geiger
Eduardo Holguin
Christy Levings
Jeanine McKenna
Mark McAnarney
Angie Schreiber
Dr. Michael Shonrock
Carol Strickland
Dr. Ken Weaver

The National Teachers Hall of Fame Staff:
Jennifer Baldwin
LaShae Castel
Robert Chatham
Daisy Duarte

And the many volunteers, ambassadors and supporters of
The National Teachers Hall of Fame

Dedication Date

Mark your calendar for the dedication to the Memorial to Fallen Educators on June 12, 2014 at 18th and Merchant, Emporia, KS 66801 on the Emporia State University Campus. Watch this site for more detailed information as the date approaches.