Friday, October 16, 2009

Remembering Ms. Grubb

Robert Hansen and Miss Jeannette Grubb, left, his newspaper adviser at Shortridge High School, attended the 2005 IHSPA convention where she was honored with a lifetime membership.
The days before the fall convention have given me the opportunity to talk to many advisers about a variety of topics, not the least of which is the stress of being a teacher of any subject let alone advising high school publications. As they reach mid-semester they feel overworked and under-appreciated.

Among the many E-mails that arrived on Tuesday was one from Bob Hansen, a former student who nominated Miss Jeannette Grubb for an IHSPA lifetime membership in 2002 when she was 102 years old. Although IHSPA started awarding the lifetime honor long after Miss Grubb’s career, her students remembered her and wanted to pay tribute.

Bob volunteered to be Miss Grubb’s escort for the day, and Senator Richard Lugar sent a letter that praised her leadership. She insisted that she had nothing to say publicly, but she allowed everyone to fuss over her a bit, and she said she enjoyed returning to Franklin for the fall conference she had attended with her students decades ago.

This week’s E-mail was news of Miss Grubb’s death at age 106. Senator Lugar has written a tribute which includes a new story for many of us about his trip to the principal’s office because of a column he wrote criticizing the “unhealthy habits of the basketball team.” He says the Echo’s headquarters were shut down temporarily, and he was told that unbridled journalism could have consequences for him, the school and Miss Grubb.

He adds that freedom of the press prevailed, and Miss Grubb was his “heroine.” Senator’s Lugar’s tribute to his adviser decades after his newspaper staff days have passed is a reminder that those who teach and advise make a positive difference in people’s lives.

We look forward to recognizing the efforts of other advisers next week at this year’s IHSPA fall convention.

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