By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
As the 2012-13 school year came to a close Thursday, so did the 43-year career of Enid educator Ruth Ann Erdner.
Erdner, assistant superintendent of Enid Public Schools since 2005, will spend the coming three weeks tying up the loose ends and packing up her belongings at the central office. June 12 will be her final day in the office.
Her plans for the future are not yet firmly set — but one thing is decided, Erdner said.
“I intend to spend more time with my children and grandchildren,” Erdner said.
Erdner began her career as a teacher with Hunter Public Schools in 1970. In 1974, she began teaching at Enid’s Hoover Elementary School.
She was promoted to principal of Cleveland Elementary School in 1978. She stayed at that post until 1981, when she became principal of Taft Elementary School.
She was appointed executive administrator for curriculum and instruction, a central office position, in 1990.
She’s seen many things change over that time.
“A lot has happened in those 43 years, that’s for sure,” Erdner said. “You know, we see a lot of educational changes, but curriculum-wise things tend to rotate in cycles. You see things disappear and then they come back in another form.”
Erdner said her career in the business of teaching children has had its own rewards.
“One thing I’ve always enjoyed is talking to the children,” Erdner said.
Erdner said she’s gotten to know a lot of school board members over her 39 years with EPS.
“Over the years, I’ve been through a lot of board members,” Erdner said. “I think they all do an awesome job — and the job’s not always easy.”
Erdner said she hasn’t decided whether she will remain in Enid or perhaps move closer to her children and grandchildren.
Erdner’s departing wishes for the school district are divided between the students and the teachers.
“My hope is that we see continued success, that all the students are successful in life, and overall career happiness for everybody,” Erdner said.
Erdner earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Phillips University.
In 2011, Erdner was added to the Enid Public Schools Hall of Fame. In 2003, she was given the School’s Attuned Hero Award, and in 1995, Erdner was given the March of Dimes Women of Achievement Award.
In the 1989-90 and 1990-91 school years, Erdner garnered Drug Free School Recognition at the state level and in 1990-91 Drug Free School Recognition at the national level.
In 1989, she was a nominee for March of Dimes Salute to Women. She was given the Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce’s Civic Improvement Award and the District 10 Outstanding Principal of the Year award.
In 1988, she was given the Cherokee Strip Reading Council’s Administrator Award and was a nominee for March of Dimes Salute to Women.
In 1985, Erdner was included in the Who’s Who Among Outstanding Young Women in America edition.
A come-and-go reception in Erdner’s honor will be 1-2 p.m. May 31 at the food court of Enid High School. It is open to the public.