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A Teacher’s Endless Legacy “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” This quote by Henry Adams sums up the impact that Rosalee Sternhagen has had on many students in her extended teaching career. As Jean Janssen, a previous student, explained, “She is and was then also a true inspiration to many.” Sternhagen was born in Avon, SD, her mother a teacher. Though she didn’t necessarily opt for the teaching profession at first, she knew that she didn’t want to be in the secretarial or nursing field. Because of limited occupational options at that time, she decided she would give teaching a try. It appears that she found her calling because she spent many years in the profession and positively impacted many lives, which she still hears about to this day. Sternhagen obtained her two-year teaching degree from Springfield, SD by taking classes during the summer. She started teaching at age eighteen and recalls her first year of teaching in a country school, when she had an 8th grade, fourteen-year old boy in her class. “That was quite interesting,” she laughed. She was later able to obtain her four-year teaching degree from the University of South Dakota, by attending classes in the evenings and during summers all while raising three young children at home. Her early start on teaching allowed her to get in many years before retiring. She taught full-time for a total of fifty-seven years, her first twelve years in a country school followed by thirty-five years in a public school. She was then a substitute teacher for an additional ten years, her entire teaching tenure with the Avon, SD school district. She closed her school books in 2000 and retired. When Sternhagen wasn’t teaching children, she was a nurse at home for two of her children. Her first-born daughter had an incurable liver disease and needed a transplant. Sadly, this took place before liver transplants were discovered. Her second-born son was in a wheelchair due to muscular dystrophy. Fortunately, their third son did not have health problems. During our interview, she proudly showed me a picture of her handsome grandsons’ from her youngest son’s family. She didn’t have to travel far to go to work, she lived right across the street from the school. She laughed, “It was pretty handy.” She recalled always having children at her house. Prescriptions Filled. Expectations Exceeded. We go the extra mile to ensure you receive the friendly service, fair prices and pharmacy expertise you deserve for your entire family. Michelle Lamberty, R.Ph. We can help make taking your medications easier by synchronizing your refills so you can make less visits to the pharmacy. We offer free in-town delivery. Visit our website at www.rogersfamilypharmacy.com or sign up for our convenient mobile app and you can simplify your life by refilling or transferring your prescriptions to us online. 218 W. 4th Street, Yankton, SD • 605.665.8042 • www.rogersfamilypharmacy.com 16vHERVOICEvMAY/JUNE 2017



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