Homecoming 2002            Friday, Saturday, November 1-2, 2002

Miss Agnes Currie
Beloved English teacher  

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Big Spring Texas, October 1, 2002

A Tribute to Agnes Currie
English teacher from 1934 to 1972 in Big Spring public schools

Birth and Childhood

Agnes Currie was born April 10, 1907 in Big Spring, Texas, to Temp S. and Margaret Currie.  On the day of this writing, October 1, 2002, she lives in Mountain View Lodge, where she has lived since about 1991.  She seems to be unable to recognize even those closest to her when they visit with her now, but her name is still spoken in reverent and grateful tones by the many who remember her as teacher, relative, friend, fellow-worshipper, or compassionate human being.

To illustrate her character, several stories are told, such as these.  As a girl, she and her friend Pauline Sullivan filled in voluntarily for a time when her church could not find a janitor to replace one they lost. They mopped, dusted, straightened, and oiled the pews with O-Cedar polish.  Whether this went on for a week or much longer is uncertain, but friends told it about her to show what kind of unselfish character she had. 

Once, the conscientious girl could not find a picture of a magnolia, as her teacher had assigned, and she was very disturbed.  Her father suggested that she go to H. W. Caylor, who lived within walking distance, and she persuaded the now-famous artist to draw her one, so she wouldn’t have to disappoint her teacher.

Big Spring has always been home to her, even though she traveled widely, and went away for a few years to college.

Education

She was graduated from Big Spring High School in 1925. 
In 1929, she graduated from Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Missouri, with an associate degree in history and English.
Agnes then went to Denton, Texas to receive her bachelorate from the College of Industrial Arts, later Texas State College for Women, currently Texas Women's University.

Teaching Career

Returning to Big Spring after finishing college, she taught the fifth grade for five years.  In 1934, she began teaching English at Big Spring High School, and taught there for 17 years.  In 1952 a new high school building was occupied, when grades 10-12 moved there from the building on Runnels.  Agnes stayed with the junior high school in the Runnels building 7 more years until the Goliad Junior High was opened in 1958. She moved to Goliad and taught there for 14 years until her retirement in 1972.

She traveled extensively, especially during the 1930’s, and then brought her knowledge and experience to the classroom.   In 1937, she visited the Philippines and Hong Kong.  The bombing of Shanghai kept her from going to North China to see the Great Wall.  On this trip she attended a meeting of the World Federation of Education in Japan.  Being a day late getting home, she missed a Saturday faculty meeting.  As a matter of school policy, she was docked a day’s pay of $6.20.

 Her teaching career spanned 43 years, from 1934 to 1972.

Church

Agnes attended the First Presbyterian Church in Big Spring with her family, probably as early as her first few weeks of life.  On November 9, 1919, she became a member of that church, and the card with that record is still on file, as the current writer recently examined it.  So she has been associated with that church over 95 years, and has been a member more than 82 years. Unfortunately, her age and health have prevented her from attendance for some time now.  She taught Sunday School, served on many boards and committees, and perhaps more importantly, has devoted immeasurable personal service to many people whose lives she has touched.

In 1984, her pastor, the Reverend Bill Henning, said of her, “Agnes Currie is devoted to her church and to its people.  She shows her devotion in the finest way.  No one knows more people in the church past or present, and keeps in contact with them.  She has taught Sunday School and served on committees from time to time, but true to the teachings of Christ, she has been humble and meek, never putting herself forward.  She is a strong part of the glue that holds First Presbyterian together.  But the main thing that she does is to unstintingly serve as a caring Christian woman.”

 In her retirement, she sent cards, flowers, letters, newspaper clipping, or whatever else was appropriate to her fellow church members, Delta Kappa Gamma members, former students, and friends.

Honors and organizations

Big Spring High School inducted her into their Hall of Fame on October 28, 1978.

The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce named her “Woman of the Year” in 1984.

The Beta Kappa Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma presented her their Achievement Award in 1985. Agnes became a member of Texas Delta Kappa Gamma in 1934, before Big Spring had a local chapter.  In fact, she helped organize and initiate the local chapter in 1935, when they met on a “warm spring day” at the Settles Hotel. The Beta Kappa Chapter gave a scholarship in her name each year for many years.

She is also a life member of the Texas State Teachers Association, was a member of the National Education Association, and was active in the Classroom Teachers Association.

Public Service

She faithfully served for many years in the Meals on Wheels program.

She has been an ardent supporter of the Heritage Museum.

She has volunteered many hours of service at the Big Spring State Hospital, including both personal service, and serving on the advisory board of the hospital.

 During WWII, she served in the Red Cross.

 The Howard County Council on Aging enjoyed her support for many years.

 She was a member of the Howard County Historical Society, and spent many hours working on the Howard County Historical Book.

[This article was edited by Lane Bond, who compiled information from several documents provided by the family of Agnes Currie, for the purpose of honoring her as the Big Spring High School Class of 1952 celebrates fifty years since its graduation.  The reunion is scheduled for November 2, 2002 at the Country Club in Big Spring, Texas.]