The Post & Mail, Columbia City, Indiana, Friday, May 21, 1999
Erne, Wilder retiring after total of 57 years in local schools banquet
Robin R. Plasterer
Together Bill Wilder and Leta
Erne have 57 years of teaching at Whitley County Consolidated Schools and
in June both will retire. They were honored at the annual Whitley
County Teachers Association retirement banquet.
Wilder began teaching science
and vocational agriculture at Union Township. In 1958, he moved to
Columbia City Joint High School where he continued teaching science,
vocational agriculture and industrial technology. At the end of this
school year he will have a total of 42 years of service.
Erne began teaching for WCCS
in 1984. She has taught reading, math, sixth and four grades at
Jefferson, Marshall and Mary Raber elementary schools. She completes
15 years of service this year.
agriculture teacher at CCHS, paid tribute to his co-worker and friend.
"Bill was born
and raised on a farm near St. Joe in an area known as Coburn's Corner.
The farm was deeded to his great-great-grandfather. He came from a
line of educators, his parents and grandparents taught for a combined 111
years. Bill's grandfather taught for 45 years and served as a
teacher, principal and college professor.
Bob, graduated from Indiana University with a degree in social studies and
is a coordinator at DeKalb High School. His sister, Mary, graduated
from Purdue and served as a consumer educator for REMC and at the
Extension office," said Warren.
married to Evelyn and they have two children.
He was among 17
students graduating from Spencerville High School in 1952. Wilder
attended Purdue and graduated in 1957 with a degree in agriculture
education. He received his masters degrees in education from St.
Francis in 1963 and met the requirements for a director of guidance.
for his first teaching job, two positions were open, one at Coesse and the
other at Shipshewana. Since Coesse was closer he signed a contract
for $5,004 for 12 months on the hood of Glenn Burn's 1953 Chevy. The
next year he joined Leon Alter as the second teacher of agriculture at
CCJHS. This was the first two-man agriculture department in the
state of Indiana and is still uncommon today.
"Bill served for
25 years as leader of the Indiana Junior Horticulture Association.
He's active in Indiana Agriculture Teachers Association having served as
president from 1960-69," said Warren.
"I met Bill in
the summer of 1970 when I was taking a graduate course at Purdue and he
was there for a summer workshop. We began working together on Aug.
4, 1970 and we've been together ever since. I'm sure as he retires
he'll enjoy remembering CCHS FFA trips to Louisville, Ky., New Paris,
Mississippi and Canada. I know I'll never forget following Bill,
LaVerne Schrader and Junior Studebaker at speeds of up to 80 miles per
hour," he said.
"We took several
trips to the FFA Center in Canada and I'm sure he'll remember our first
trip to Carpenter Lake, Sandy's Sunrise Shores, Rock Lake Cabin, Prairie
Bee Lake and the Falls of Carpenter Lake. I'm sure he'll fondly
remember the sorghum crop the FFA planted and harvested it at 11 p.m. to
get to the mill at Baker's Corner, only to arrive home around 5 a.m. and
teaching at 8 a.m.
"I'm sure Bill
can talk of all the changes he's seen in his tenure but I know it's been
fun and interesting to work with him for the past 29 years and I wish him
well," concluded Warren....
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