Mary Elizabeth Sterling

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Mary Sterling joined the Ames Community Public School fall 1969 where she served until her retirement in 1989. She was a beloved teacher, administrator and youth advocate know for her outgoing, caring and loving manner. Mary taught third grade at Crawford Elementary School (1969-70); reading and media specialist (1970-81), associate principal and principal (1981-1986) at Central Junior High School; principal at Kate Mitchell Elementary School (1986-1989); and associate principal at Ames High School (1986-1989).

Ms. Sterling attended Dominican Convent, Adrian, Michigan, in her early teens, earned a B.S. in elementary education (1962) at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, and M.S. in school administration (1975) at Iowa State University and completed the Episcopal Education for Ministry (1992). Prior to coming to Ames, she taught in West Palm Beach, Florida, Detroit and St. Clair, Michigan.

Her many leadership recognitions included the Otis P. Cosby Schools Public Relations Award (1969) from the Michigan Education Association, Ames High School honorary alumna (1996), Valiant Woman Award from Ames Church Women United (1969), and Woman of the Year from Beta Sigma Phi. She served on the Board of Directors of Ames United Way, Boys and Girls Club of Story County (advocated including girls in the club), Story County Red Cross, People Place, the Episcopal Diocesan Commission on Ministry and the ISU College for Seniors Board (now ISU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute). She was a charter member of Educational Administrators of Iowa, the Ames Foundation for Educational Excellence, and Beyond Welfare. In retirement she continued worldwide and U.S. travel, hostess for family and friends, especially Joan’s graduate students and international friends, and spiritual growth. She is fondly remembered for her compassion, active political positions and an inclusive world view.

Biography prepared by Dr. Joan Herwig

9/30/1997; biography submitted 6/28/2019