Grace Gardner, Ph.D.
GRACE GARDNER WAS BORN in 1916. She began her teaching career at Peace Valley, Mo., in 1936 after graduating as valedictorian from Aurora High School. At the end of that school term, she moved home and taught in the Aurora schools for the next nine years. However, from 1937 to 1940, she also attended Southwest Missouri State Teachers College (now Southwest Missouri State University – SMSU in Springfield) and received her bachelor’s degree.
In 1949, she received a master’s degree in education from the University of Missouri and 10 years later, in 1959, a doctorate degree. In 1946, Gardner became employed by Southwest Missouri State University (SMSU) and taught in Greenwood Laboratory School, where she stayed until retirement in 1983.
As a social studies teacher, she wanted her students to become involved in political and governmental structures. Gardner helped them achieve this through the Model United Nations and the Missouri Student Council. She helped with the Model UN for 14 years and participated in Missouri Student Council on local and state levels. She was also the Student Council advisor at Greenwood.
Gardner served as the president of Springfield-Greene County League of Women Voters, Missouri State Teachers Association, United Nations Association Springfield Chapter, Community Teachers Association of SMSU and Senior Citizens County Tax Board, as well as many other organizations.