Education Week - June 20, 2018 - 17
mimeograph machine, old Apple computers, and floppy disks.
Model classrooms, including one of a
"dame school" from 1630 that operated
out of a woman's home and a one-room
Freedmen's Bureau school for freed
black students circa 1866, provide insight into how classrooms have (or have
Visitors-of which there are about
3,000 annually-can flip through a
large-print Dick and Jane reader from
the 1950s. A paddle bears the signatures of those on whom it was used.
The memorial was first conceived
after the Sandy Hook shooting in
Newtown, Conn., shook the country. The National Teachers Hall of
Fame inductees wanted to pay tribute to the educators who died in the
massacre and initially planned to
include them in an induction ceremony for new hall of fame members.
But a little more than a month after
the Newtown tragedy, a gunman
boarded a school bus in Midland
City, Ala., and killed the bus driver.
One month. Seven educators. The
hall of fame inductees wondered: How
many more were there?
tacted about including her father,
John Carlson, a custodian who died
this school year in a natural-gas explosion at a Christian school in Minneapolis.
"Certainly, we consider our dad
to be a life teacher, but he was not
a school teacher, he did not teach a
subject matter," said Morgan, who
will be representing the family at the
ceremony. "We are very touched that
he's being included."
Josh Chopper remembers Sept. 11,
That was the day his wife, Kari,
a bus driver for the Adams 12 Five
Star district in Thornton, Colo., was
killed when the school bus she was
driving crashed into a pillar at the
Denver International Airport.
"My world ended that day," he said.
Kari Chopper was known for baking cupcakes for students for their
birthdays and crafting handmade
gifts for the holidays, said Josh
Chopper, who worked as a paraprofessional for the district and was
often on the bus with her.
The memorial means a lot to his
family, he said. He's traveled to Emporia twice since his wife's name was
added in 2017.
"It's a very humbling experience,"
he said. Visitors can "look at the ...
wall, and look up her name and say,
'Wow, it's really a strong woman who
did the things that she did, a strong
woman [who] saved the lives of everyone else on the bus, put her life in
danger instead of theirs.'"
But for some of the families of
those killed this year, the pain is still
too raw. Some will not be attending
And even in communities that
have lost large numbers of students
and school staff in school shootings,
the memorial to fallen educators still
remains largely unknown.
That's true for many people in
Newtown, said Anthony Salvatore, a
former assistant principal at Sandy
Hook Elementary School (who had
transferred to the middle school
before the shooting). Salvatore attended the 2014 dedication and
plans to attend this year's ceremony.
(The June 21 event will be livestreamed, beginning at 2 pm, CDT,
Aaron Feis' brother Connell who
lives in Leavenworth, Kan., about
120 miles from Emporia, plans to attend as well.
His mother, siblings, and Feis' wife
and daughter are still grieving, but
he thinks they appreciate the efforts,
both local and otherwise, to honor
"He was a great man, a great
brother, and he was a good caretaker
for those students," Connell said.
OUR FUNDERS Editorial Projects in Education wishes to thank the following foundations for their generous support.
EPE retains sole editorial control over the content of articles and other work underwritten by our donors. (Updated 10/17/2017)
Finding the Fallen
Many people can name Christa
McAuliffe, the Concord, N.H., teacher
who died in the 1986 Challenger explosion. The teachers also knew of
Dave Sanders, who was killed in the
1999 shooting at Columbine High
School, and James McGee, a Kansas
principal who was shot and killed at
school by a student in 1985.
The teachers' unions-the National Education Association and the
American Federation of Teachers-
added names to the list.
The group borrowed from the lawenforcement community the idea of
honoring those who had died "in the
line of duty," whether during school,
after school, or on field trips. (Those
who died of natural causes and victims of domestic violence, even if the
fatal incident occurred at the place
of work, are not included in the memorial. Contractors are also not included.)
"Once we started, we had no idea
what we were dealing with, whether
it was a handful, 20, or 30," Strickland said. "We developed the idea
that we would just get a granite
book, and maybe have a bench by the
They soon realized they needed a
bigger book. The organization raised
$300,000 through donations, including from the teachers' unions, to
build the monument.
The hall of fame also made a conscious decision to include school support staff, who Strickland describes
as the "the heart of the school district."
"Teachers and administrators
could not do their jobs if it were not
for the education support professionals," said Strickland, a former Kansas Teacher of the Year and a member of the National Teachers Hall of
Fame. "Oftentimes, the students will
not see the teacher until having seen
the bus driver, the lunchroom workers when they go for their breakfast,
the attendance clerk, maybe a counselor, the security guard who is in
the front hallway."
Beth Morgan was surprised-"but
very honored"-when she was con-
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EDUCATION WEEK | June 20, 2018 | www.edweek.org | 17