|Honored by:||Carolyn Cornette|
|Brick location:||C:16 map|
"The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Barbara Ann Kethcart Mengeling has indeed learned the secret of education; respect for children. This is a secret she learned from the example set by her parents who adored children. They would collect small trinkets to give as gifts to children when they came to visit. Barbara is a first grade teacher one of the best. She respects each child and fosters their respect for themselves and for each other. By encouraging respect she helps them build a foundation from which to meet the challenges ahead and master the skills needed in their future.
Barbara grew up in Beloit a small town in the midst of the wheat fields of Kansas. She graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Elementary Education. Before graduating her college advisor suggested she do her student teaching in first grade. "First grade teachers are always in demand!" And in Barbara's case this is certainly true. She taught first grade in Kansas and New Mexico before moving with her husband William to Ames in 1961. When Barbara got her first Ames teaching assignment her classroom was in a church. The school building had not yet been completed. As soon as it was finished she and her colleagues moved into the new Abbie Sawyer Elementary School where she enthusiastically teaches today 1995. First grade has remained Barbara's first love.
And although the grade hasn't changed she continues to pursue the benefits of new teaching methodologies particularly those connected with reading and children's literature. A former principal of Barbara's said "Barbara Mengeling represents a lifetime of dedication caring and commitment to children. Loved and respected by students colleagues parents and community she is truly a professional educator." Barbara and her husband have two children Michelle and Michael.
In addition to teaching, Barbara is involved with several professional organizations Delta Kappa Gamma an honorary organization for educators and the KR chapter of P.E.O. She is also a member of the Collegiate United Methodist Church/ Wesley Foundation. A love of children and a love of teaching have combined to make Barbara Mengeling a beloved first grade teacher.