Groundbreaking of the Fallen Educators Memorial

2013 National Teachers Hall of Fame inductees, NTHF and ESU administrators, and Emporia community leaders gather for the groundbreaking of the memorial.

Fallen Educators Memorial Receives Funding

A black granite monument inscribed with the names of teachers who lost their lives while working with students is being developed and will be placed on the Emporia State University campus.

Two corporate partners of the National Teachers Hall of Fame have donated $40,000 total to cover the initial funds necessary for the fallen educators project. Pearson Education Foundation is committing $25,000 to the project, while Security Benefit has promised $15,000.

The National Teachers Hall of Fame, located on ESU's campus, is coordinating the effort to raise $200,000 for the 10 foot square monument. Once completed, the memorial will be placed near the one-room schoolhouse located on the north end of ESU’s campus. A walkway, benches, special lighting, and a donor wall are to be part of the display.

NTHF Director Carol Strickland said the idea for the memorial developed after six educators were murdered in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012 and an Alabama teacher was murdered in January 2013. It was then decided the many educators who had lost their lives “in the line of duty” needed to be remembered in a permanent way.  

The NTHF Board said Emporia is the ideal location for this memorial to fallen educators.

"Emporia, located in the heart of America, is not only the home of the National Teachers Hall of Fame, but it also boasts that Emporia State University has one of the top five teacher preparation programs in the country, and USD 253 is an outstanding public school system.  In fact, Teacher Magazine, after a visit in 2000, labeled Emporia as ‘Teacher Town USA,'" said Lindy Whetzel, NTHF Board Chair.

The groundbreaking for the monument was part of the NTHF induction ceremonies in June 2013.

The NTHF was founded in 1989 by Emporia State University, the ESU Alumni Association, the City of Emporia, USD 253, and the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce as a tribute to the nation's teachers.

More information can be found at or by calling the NTHF at 620-341-5660.