Mrs. Margaret Powell
- by Mary Rhoade Spratt

My tribute must go to a Bingham teacher, the inspiration for my teaching career: Mrs. Margaret Powell.

I entered the Mishawaka school system in second grade as a shy Southern transplant, extremely self-conscious of my drawl. ("Y'all" still seems so natural when refering to several folks.) But Mrs. Powell surrounded us with so much warmth and security that my accent was soon forgotten. She had a way of making each child feel special and talented, yet her expectations were demanding for seven year olds. We should always answer questions in complete sentences, and never begin a sentence with "because." She taught us precise cursive and expected neat, accurate letters. I can still visualize the hundred wooden spools strung diagonally across our second grade room with each "tens" place larger than the nine units. I can see the carousel mural in front of the classroom and hear her stories about her cabin in the woods. If we worked diligently all day, we were rewarded with poems, our favorite being "Puppy and I." I can never remember her voice raised; when a child would "act out," she would quietly invite him into the hallway. When the child would return, he had a smile on his face and did not interrupt again for days.

Those days were filled with the joy of learning and the security of being encouraged by a trusting adult who genuinely loved us. I will forever have engraved in my heart the words she wrote in my sixth-grade autograph book, "May you continue in the way you have started."

Mary Rhoade Spratt,
MHS 1968

Margaret Powell
October 15, 1909;
March 1, 1997

Mishawaka teacher tributes:
|Auggie Baetsle| |Emily Davidson|
Charles Karst| |Thelma Martin, 1| |Thelma Martin, 2|
Don Portolese| |Margaret Powell| |Earl Stine|
|Helen Stoddart| |Rosa Weikel| |Marvin Wood|