Missouri School District Honors 70-Year Teacher

Friday, September 16, 2011

When Marjorie Allen began teaching in the Normandy School District, a new car cost about $700, and a loaf of bread was only 8 cents.

What hasn't changed, the 93-year-old Allen said, is her passion to teach others. She still reports to a classroom 72 years after she began.

School district officials honored the Bel-Nor resident as Citizen of the Month at their board meeting Wednesday night at district headquarters.

"I call Mrs. Allen, from my heart, a community treasure because she is that," Superintendent Stanton Lawrence said during a presentation at the meeting.

Allen, who also attended school in the Normandy School District, began teaching kindergarten at Garfield Elementary in 1939 after graduating from the former Harris Teacher's College. She taught in San Diego while there for several years during World War II with her husband, Charles. She went back to work for Normandy schools when she returned.

She is known throughout the district for employing a Snoopy puppet, from the popular "Peanuts" comic strip, to help with her lessons. She said she picked it up more than 50 years ago at a local carnival.

Allen officially retired in 1979, but it didn't stop her near daily appearances. She's still employed by the district as a substitute and also volunteers at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

More than 100 people crammed into the meeting room for the ceremony, including some of Allen's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Several former students were also in attendance. Business owner Bill Stanley said while she taught math, science and art, the best lesson came from Allen's kindness.

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