Carol Lowery Anderson, known to many as the 1889 Territorial Schoolmarm, Miss Lowery, received recognition as Champion of Character for Orderliness at the Edmond History Museum’s Annual meeting, Tuesday, September 20th.
Carol grew up in an orderly home. She found the example served her well as she pursued her career as a teacher. Her first teaching position placed her in the footsteps of Bertie Phelps, a highly esteemed teacher. Ms. Phelps gave her some of her old units and lesson plans, which inspired Carol. She recognized how Ms. Phelp’s organizational skills opened the door to a creative and fun classroom.
Edmond History Museum’s Executive Director, Amy Stephens, nominated Carol for the Champion of Character honor. Amy said, “Carol enjoys taking students "back in time" to experience life in early-day Edmond. Not only is she extremely organized in preparing her lessons and materials, but she runs her classroom strictly on schedule, without breaking her 1889 characterization.”
Since teaching at the Territorial School, Carol finds orderliness even more important. The audience she encounters changes from one group to the next. She may have students who come from public, private or home schools. Considering their perspectives ahead of time, enables her to adapt to the unique characteristics and needs of each group. It also creates freedom and variety in the living history program. The extra effort pays off. Carol said, “They are so caught up in it. They want to do school like that every day.”
In 1889, there were not only more rules but a greater emphasis on rules and respect. Teachers stressed reading out loud, memorization and recitation. Carol said, “Kids love those things. They also love the outdoor games.” On occasion she thinks about not preparing. Just freefall… No, she can’t bring herself to abandon her preplanning. Of course, there are things that happen beyond her control.
The Edmond History Museum holds summer camps each June for children 6 to12 years old. Carol adds new stations to give repeat campers a different experience.
One year they made model sod houses and learned about life on the prairie. Carol gathered the materials and practiced making the sod bricks at home to avoid any surprises. Everything worked fine. Getting the right consistency of the clay right was a little tricky, though. When it came time to make the model soddies at camp, it didn’t go so well. The clay had dried out. She kept hearing one child after another say, “My sod house keeps falling down. It’s all crumbly.” She came up with a solution. “Everyone gets to take a brick home.” They went home with smiles. At least they had a good visual. A sense of humor and flexibility helped.
Summer camp requires a lot of volunteers. Sometimes older students who aspire to pursue a teaching career want to help. Carol’s orderliness allows her to bring them into an apprenticeship program. They get hands-on experience and see aspects of teaching beyond just showing up. Carol makes modeling orderliness a priority. She invites them to come with her to go shopping for supplies and preparing ahead. Their assistance helps the camp run more smoothly. Carol said, “If it’s an orderly camp it projects a calmness to parents. They know we have a plan, practice good safety, and have good communication. So, they feel secure leaving their children with us.”
Describing the benefits of Carol’s orderliness, Amy said, “School teachers, homeschool parents and citizens under Carol's tutelage have come to expect a high-quality educational experience at the schoolhouse because of her well-ordered teaching and historical knowledge. Carol has trained many new Schoolmarms in her techniques, setting a high standard for teaching the modern-day students about life in 1889.”
Carol and Scott married 41 years ago. They moved to the United Arab Emirates a short time later, where they worked with a mission organization. Carol taught school and Scott built a hospital, as a Civil Engineer. All three of their children were born overseas. The Andersons have lived in Edmond for the past 20 years. Since then, they’ve added five grandchildren to their family.
On behalf of the City of Edmond and the Character Council of Edmond, Carol Lowery Anderson was honored as a Champion of Character for exemplifying the character trait of orderliness, defined by Character First as, “Arranging myself and my surroundings to achieve greater efficiency.”
Pictured: Carol Lowery Anderson
Please complete the form located on our website to recognize an Edmond citizen for a specific character trait. Forms may be submitted from the website or mailed to the
Character Council of Edmond
Champions of Character
PO Box 392
Edmond, OK 73083-0392.
or contact: Gloria Baumann (405) 317-9089 Gloria_Baumann@outlook.com
Champions of Character Honorees
2010 to Present