Mildred Emmick Foster

Honored by:M. Neil Goodman, Ellen G. Hansen and Gary R. Hansen
Brick location:C:3  map

Mildred was born at home on February 13, 1915, in Hancock County, KY, to James N. Emmick and Zenada D. Buck; she was the first of seven children in a poor farming family. During her youth, she worked very hard to help support the large family. She lived in a log home, often rode a horse to school and was active in school activities, graduating as valedictorian of her high school class. She worked her way through the University of Louisville and Western Kentucky State Teachers College (Teaching Certificate, 1934). She then taught elementary education in the Lewisport, KY, school system for three years.

Following her marriage to Alvin H. Goodman in 1937, she lived in Michigan and Chicago, bore two children, Neil M. and Arleta L., then moved to Downers Grove, Illinois in 1949. She taught elementary education in the Downers Grove public school system for nineteen years; five of them as assistant principal. During these years, she was a pioneer educator in the state of Illinois, applying the concepts of team teaching and individualized education in the classroom.

A demand for her experience was satisfied through personal lectures around the area. After attending North Central College (B.A. Education, 1964) and Northern Illinois University (M.S. School Administration, 1968), she served as Principal of Washington Elementary School in Downers Grove for nine years until her retirement.

During these years, she held active membership in the following organizations: Delta Kappa Gamma Society; local, state and national principal's associations, local, state and national teacher's associations; American Association of University Women; Business and Professional Women's Association; and Honorary Women Educator's Society.

Following the 1964 death of her husband, she married Jack C. Foster in 1968. They both retired and moved to a farm in Hancock County, KY in 1977. During retirement, she was a very active member in the following organizations: GRADD (Green River Area Development District), Advisory Committee on Aging, Legislative Advisory Research Committee on Aging, reporting to the (KY) Governor's Committee on Aging, Hancock Co.

She retired from the Teacher's Association, Hancock Co. School-Community Advisory Council, Kentucky Historical Society, Daviess Co. Historical Society, Hancock Co. Historical Society, Hancock Co. Museum (Chairwoman of Exhibits and Volunteers), Hancock Co. Homemakers Lewisport Senior Citizens.

She is the recipient of the following: AARP Award for Outstanding Service to the Community, Hancock Co. Historian of the Year Award, Hancock Co. Museum Historical Preservation Award. As was her mother before her, Mildred is a strong advocate of education for everyone.

She set a wonderful example for her siblings and other younger members of her family, many of whom owe her a large debt of gratitude for the encouragement and support they received to pursue an education and lead more successful lives. She is also the anchor of the family; enormously generous, loving, never finding fault and sincerely interested in the welfare of all. Quite a gal!

The following Iowa State University alumni are honoring Mildred Emmick Foster for her remarkable lifetime achievements in education and in the community: M. Neil Goodman (ISU 1963), son; Ellen G. Hansen (ISU 1987), granddaughter; Gary R. Hansen (ISU 1985), grandson-in-law.