Mary Rector teaches kindergarten at Sparta Elementary School in Sparta. Though "helping her students acquire a new skill or master a task" is deeply gratifying to Ms. Rector, this happiness becomes "indescribable," she says, when one helps a physically or emotionally handicapped child achieve success. "Thanks for being our strength, our friend and our teacher," is what she heard from the parents of one recent student who had been helped to overcome a severe speech disorder. Through dedication, love and keen pedagogy, Ms. Rector has been able to help children accomplish learning that many would have thought impossible. She has many times come to the aid of students in serious need. Ms. Rector has served as a foster parent to one of her students and, through home visits, she assists students and their families to meet every and any basic need.
1967 Appalachian State University, B.A.