CARDINGTON — Her love of education began when Marilyn Davis was still in high school when her goal was to teach and and educate in every way possible.
A 1966 Cardington High School graduate, Davis (nee Radel)) earned her Bachelors Degree in Education from OSUM. During the course of her education, she taught a year of half day kindergarten. “At that time one didn’t need a degree to teach or sub,” she said.
After subbing the remainder of that school year she was given the opportunity to replace her first grade teacher, Mabel Hindman, in her first-grade room. This began a 37-year teaching career at Cardington.
Prior to assuming the teacher role she was an aide for reading, then kindergarten and first grade. She also taught special education, Title I Reading in all grades and taught adult education for seven years, helping individuals earn their GED.
“I recall the county Young Authors Conference when I helped entertain authors, especially Steve Newman the World Walker who gave an exciting school program,” said Davis, who liked doing special projects with her students and named the hatching chickens and a duck named Donald which her class entered in the county fair and received the Grand Champion.
She cited writing of poetry by her students and their winning school performance of poetry that included the poem “Popcorn.”
Davis enjoyed education in other areas such as meetings, workshops and meeting other teachers and sharing materials. “I represented Ohio Reading Council in several counties and represented our school district on the Ohio School Study Council,” she noted.
She served as president of the Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary teacher society with membership through the Ohio State University. During this tenure she helped the society reach out to children who struggled with learning and tutored and read at the library during the summer. She organized a “Jump Start” program for youngsters beginning kindergarten and this featured a week of skills important to know and to love books.
“I still love to read and especially new books shared by my daughter, Alicia, a third-grade teacher with the Pleasant School District.”
Relies on faith
She served on the Morrow County Fair Board for 10 years, the Cardington Lincoln Public Library for 14 years and recently retired after serving 8 years on the Cardington-Lincoln Board of Education. She used her position on the board to advocate for children’s literacy.
“It is important to make individuals feel good about themselves and its their determination that will help them succeed,” she said.
“Without my faith, 37 years in education would not have been as exciting or rewarding and following the 4-H motto, ‘Make the Best Better,’ is another chapter that kept driving me to do more through volunteering.”
Looking back, Davis recalls the students whose careers she helped shape, many serving their country, teaching, serving on boards of education, running for political offices or simply happy with life.
Davis and her husband, Bob, have two daughters, a son-in-law and a granddaughter.