Legendary Women of Brainerd Public Schools

From the earliest years of Brained, women have served in leadership roles in public education, which began virtually contemporaneously with the incorporation of the city itself. Women predominated in the teaching ranks, became more common in administrative ranks (but not as superintendent until the arrival of present Superintendent Laine Larson some 145 years into Brainerd Public Schools history), and serve as members of the governing bodies, the "school boards."  

Throughout its now almost 150 years of existence and graduation of something on the order of 20,000 to 30,000 students, Brainerd Public Schools has graduated extraordinary women who have moved on to life here and, literally, to life at all ends of the earth. Many of those women have become educators, here and far from here:  Public school teachers, private school teachers, tutors, college instructors, medical school educators, and public school administrators, but only one woman BPS graduate is known to have become an elected member of a public school board of education anywhere - and that place is here.

Since the inception of the Brainerd Public Schools Distinguished Achievement Hall of Fame (“DAHoF”) in 1999, Brainerd Public Schools (“BPS”) has inducted BPS graduates into the DAHoF, but only sparingly so.  Historically, roughly .28% (that is to say, less than 1/3 of 1%) of all graduates are in the DAHoF; of those, a recognizably disproportionate number of inductees have been men.

Noticing the historical anomalies, knowing that many women BPS graduates should be recognized for their unique accomplishments but never would be because of the severely limited number of annual inductees into the DAHoF, and being aware that each March is National Women’s History Month, starting in 2019 BPS Archives brought together a committee of approximately ten women with varying ties to BPS to serve as a selection committee for inductees, and more, to make Legendary Women of Brainerd Public Schools a reality.

There are few rigid requirements, for example, graduation from BPS, and there are no rigid requirements in the nature of “accomplishments” and “recognition” to become an inductee.  Selection is based on the collective assessment of the committee each year, and, in some manner, the women who are selected are “legendary” in the lives they have led and are often described as “extraordinary.” And, once again, because there are so many deserving women, the process of necessity cannot select all at once.
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