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During her teaching tenure at the country school, she was the only teacher at that time and taught all eight grades. She explained class sizes would range from one to two students up to seven. She taught all basic courses, and even added impromptu courses. She incorporated her musical talent into the curriculum, playing the piano and teaching the children songs. They also learned foreign languages, regularly listening to a Spanish and a German radio program. She recalled when she and her class once saw a weather balloon and knowing how rare it was to see one, she took them on a spontaneous road trip. She loaded her seven students in her car and drove several miles to locate the balloon, ending up in Dante, SD. A former student of hers still recalls the road trip and enjoyed the learning experience. The Christmas programs at the country school are a favorite memory for Sternhagen. “It was quite a project,” she reflected with a grin. She would coordinate a program to include six or seven children, from a young child to a teenager. There were bench seats set up for the parents and family to watch the program. During her public-school teaching career, she taught English and History courses for 5th & 6th graders. She explained how she and her team teacher would switch classes and courses, Sternhagen teaching the 5th graders in the mornings and 6th graders in the afternoons. Sternhagen’s former student Janssen recalled the teacher out in the softball field with the kids at recess, standing on the pitching mound lobbing balls for the children. When I mentioned it to Sternhagen, she remembered it well and beamed. “They didn’t argue or fight,” she said. “They just liked it if the teacher played.” She left a lasting impression on many children, still receiving cards and letters from former students to this day. “I have lots of nice letters from some of them. That is really nice,” she said. She told me about a former student of hers who is now a teacher, who tells her that she is striving to teach like Sternhagen did. “That’s one of my best things now, is when I get a letter from a student that I have taught, that is teaching, and they tell me that they are teaching the way that I did.” What is her secret to such a long, successful teaching tenure impacting so many children? Patience. And love of children. She explained the success behind teaching simply. “You have to like working with kids. Some are challenging.” Tom Culver, Avon School Superintendent, recalled Sternhagen fondly. “Rosalee was still teaching here my first couple years in Avon. She was always friendly and there with a smile. When we redid our track and started having a track meet again, she helped with distributing the medals for each school envelope. She also helped me with my football certificates for post season awards. She had terrific hand writing and I would take the certificates to her and she would write the kids names on the certificates. Even after she retired I would give her a call and walk the certificates over to her house. I enjoyed those times, since I would stay and visit with her and her son Dan. She is a great lady.” Since Sternhagen retired from teaching, she has been volunteering at the museum in Avon. She writes a column for their newsletter each week, called “Do You Remember This?” She is also an avid reader and talented quilter, having made over 40 regular and queen size quilts and over 200 baby quilts. In more than fifty years of teaching, it’s impossible to say how many lives Sternhagen impacted with her teaching. One thing is evident, this teacher’s influence will carry on for an eternity. vBy Julie Eickhoff Soften harsh sunlight and save with Hunter Douglas window fashions. $100 REBATE* REBATES AVAILABLE ON SELECT LIGHT-TRANSFORMING STYLES. ASK FOR DETAILS TODAY. on qualifying purchases April 15–June 26, 2017 Pirouette® Window Shadings Mozaks Floors and More 1205 Broadway Ave Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM Saturday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 605-665-9728 www.mozaksfloorsandmore.com Ask us about special savings on select Hunter Douglas operating systems. *Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 4/15/17—6/26/17 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. For certain rebate-eligible products, the purchase of multiple units of such product is required to receive a rebate. Rebate will be issued in the form of a prepaid reward card and mailed within 6 weeks of rebate claim receipt. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 6 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. ©2017 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. 17Q2MAGPIRC1 HERVOICEvMAY/JUNE 2017v17



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