Retired educator left impressions on youth

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 29, 2005

Described as a "kind-hearted, but stern" teacher by a former student, Ida Pearl Hall worked in education for almost four decades.

"I just remember liking her a lot, but I don't remember what she did," said Steve Easterling, former student of Hall's and current principal of Dawson Bryant Elementary School.

"It's funny how you leave an impression on those around you. She left an indelible impression on me."

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Hall, who taught for 38 years and has been retired 27, began teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in 1938 in Boyd County, Ky. Twelve years later, she moved to Coal Grove to teach at Monitor Elementary, retiring in 1978.

"I liked it," the recently turned 90-year-old said. "I truly liked it."

Having witnessed the progression of the school system, Hall said one-room schools were not as bad as many people might think.

"It went surprisingly well because the kids learned from each other," she said. "Sometimes I'd even let the older ones help the younger ones."

Looking back, her favorite part about teaching was the children, particularly third-graders.

"It's dealing with children and seeing their achievements," Hall said.

Having gotten her degree in Biology, Hall taught the subject in Kentucky high schools, but when she moved to Ohio, she switched to elementary school teaching third grade.

"I loved third grade," Hall said. "You can talk to them like grown up kids instead of babies and then they're quick to grasp everything. They want to learn."

Though she said she has no idea how many children she taught during her years of teaching, she made a lasting impression on at least one.

"I love that lady," said Easterling, who had Hall as a teacher only four years before she retired. "She was caring and sincere and always put learning first. She would always make you feel special in class with birthdays. In the classroom, she would try to find a way to help you."

She also left educational impressions with her children.

"I think she was very adamant about her job and the importance of teachers in people's lives, and I think she instilled that in us," said Sam Hall, Ida Hall's son and superintendent of Chesapeake schools.

"She taught us the importance of good education."

She instilled it so much that her son and two daughters all became educators.

It was not only her children though.

"She played an important part in me loving school, so much so that I didn't want to leave, because I'm still here," Easterling said.