DKG recognizes, honors Ida Mae Huse’s 50 years

Ida Mae Huse, center, long-time Ozark County teacher and former Gainesville Elementary School principal, was presented with a 50-year membership pin Feb. 13 by Delta Kappa Gamma members Alice Neal of Eminence, left, and Caryl Feiler of Lakeview, Arkansas, who taught kindergarten in Gainesville while Ida Mae was principal. Delta Kappa Gamma is an international professional women educators society; the local Xi Chapter, which Ida Mae served as treasurer for many years, draws from a five-county area, including Ozark County. photo courtesy Alice Neal

Hardenville resident Ida Mae Huse, who turns 90 on Feb. 25, was honored recently with a 50-year membership pin presented by fellow members of Xi Chapter, Delta Kappa Gamma, an international professional women educators society. 

After 18 years of classroom teaching, in 1968 Ida Mae was unexpectedly asked by the Gainesville school board to become elementary principal after Benton Breeding left that job to become district superintendent following the death of Mearle Luna, the previous superintendent. Ida Mae held the job for 22 years.

She was born in 1929 in Tarkio, the second of Fred and Mamie Rackley’s six children. Her siblings are Betty Bowsher of Nixa, Delbert Rackley of Rogersville, Joan Young of Florida, Judy VanGilder of Jonesboro, Arkansas, and the late Donald Rackley. The family moved back to Ozark County when Ida Mae was entering second grade in the one-room school at Sand Ridge. 

She graduated from Gainesville High School in 1937 and received a scholarship to Southwest Missouri State College, now Missouri State University. A year later, she married Robert Huse on March 10, 1948, and soon they started their family. 

In 1950, at a time when a college degree was not required, Ida Mae started teaching at Sand Ridge, the one-room school she had once attended with her brothers and sisters. Next she taught for two years at Brushy Knob, five at Faye and four at Howards Ridge before the county schools were consolidated in 1963. 

During many of those early years, she taught school during the school year and attended college summer-school classes in Springfield, taking her children along with her while her husband, Robert, stayed home to tend their farm. Ida Mae’s younger sister Judy went along to babysit the children. 

Ida Mae earned a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Missouri State College (now MSU) in 1962, and in 1967 she was awarded a master’s degree from the University of Missouri. Ida Mae’s adviser was in Columbia, but all the coursework for her MU master’s degree was completed at SMS, which at that time did not offer advanced degrees. 

All of Ida Mae’s 40 years as an educator were spent in Ozark County schools. In 2015 she was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni by Gainesville High School. 

During her teaching career, she and Robert also raised three children. They are Carol King and husband Wayman of Hardenville, Mike Huse and wife Brenda of Russellville, Arkansas, and Jeff Huse and wife Stacey of Centreville, Virginia. She also has eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. 

Robert died in 2006.

In addition to being a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, Ida Mae is also a member of the Douglas/Ozark County Retired Teachers Organization, the PEO sisterhood and the Lilly Ridge General Baptist Church. She has also served as a  delegate to the Silver Haired Legislature

Ozark County Times

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