No matter where it was located, Betty White’s library was a place where her students could lose themselves reading adventures, surrounded by colorful jungle foliage or safari vehicles and African animals. They might be reading in an igloo or attending a birthday party for the Cookie Monster. The library was the place where Betty White could blend her love of literature with her creativity and her passion to teach children.
Betty can’t recall a time when she didn’t want to be a teacher. She remembers playing school during recess as she grew up, and she always took the role of the teacher, pretending to write her lesson plans on leaves. Her first actual teaching job was in the same school district where she attended school. At that time, Betty taught second and third grade; in fact her youngest sister was one of her students.
After she married, Betty left teaching to raise her daughter and three sons. A job brought the White family from Laona to Rhinelander, where her husband, Jerry, would become an instructor at Nicolet College. When the White’s youngest son entered kindergarten, Joyce Opper, then a Rhinelander School District administrator, called Betty, asking if she would be interested in helping set up the first elementary library in the School District of Rhinelander. She accepted, remembering that she felt she “just had to get back to school.” That job gave Betty the perfect opportunity to combine her creativity and teaching skills. She loved her job, adding “It was the best – working with the kids, especially kindergarten and first graders. It was a joy.”
During her 22 years in the School District of Rhinelander, Betty worked in most of the libraries, but
Crescent was her “first library.” So it is only appropriate that in honor of Betty White, and in recognition of a donation to the Hodag Schools Foundation, the Library at Crescent School will now be named The Betty White Library.
This donation, according to HSF Vice President Sue Makris, comes at an important time for the School District of Rhinelander and the community.
“It allows HSF to provide additional funds to the District in order make improvements at the Mike Webster stadium by allowing students to use the track for physical education,” Makris said. “It will also provide the community and students a higher quality facility for classes, activities and community events. ”
About the Hodag Schools Foundation
The Hodag Schools Foundation (HSF) is a volunteer run, non-profit community-based organization.
The Foundation is dedicated to providing financial support for quality programs and facilities, benefitting students and promoting excellence in the School District of Rhinelander and the entire community. HSF envisions innovative programming and strong, safe facilities which meet the long-term needs of the School District of Rhinelander and the community. HSF supports the well-being of youth and adults alike, strengthening ties to Hodag alumni and providing opportunities comparable to other communities.