Sally Shantz

Sally Shantz, Exceptional Educator Inducted 2015

  • Ms. Sally Shantz was the reason many students mastered their multiplication tables, Missouri history, and all the verse from Joyce Kilmer's Trees. Her students practiced their penmanship; remember four times five, and her saying "there will never be a poem lovely as a tree," or that a rat in the house might eat the ice cream spells "arithmetic." She began class every morning with her students reciting the pledge of allegiance and saying a prayer. A colleague recalls being in her classroom when a particularly troubled boy was being carted off to the principal after acting out. Ms. Shantz, softly and sincerely said to the student "remember, I love you." Ms. Shantz began her career in education after completing just 3 years of college when she was hired at Buffalo to teach a group of 53 students in the fourth grade. Her class included three sets of twins. After that year, she returned to Drury University to complete her Bachelor's degree in education. Upon completion she returned to Buffalo to teach the sixth grade to the same group of student she had taught two years earlier. She married in 1954 and raised two sons, Joe Ben and Bobby in Dallas County Schools. The boys were hugely successful football Bison and later became Arkansas Razorbacks during their college years. As she grew up, her parents owned Copper Greenhouse. She graduated from Buffalo High School. In a teaching application from 1954, she wrote in response to a question about why she wanted to be a teacher: " I am very much concerned over children and their education and care. I have worked in a greenhouse practically all of my life and I realize that every plant has to be given special care and watched to see that it gets the proper attention that it needs. So it is with a child, each one is an individual person and must be treated as such if they do get the proper care and attention they need. I believe my best qualification for this job is my love for children and my desire to see them grow and become well rounded individuals." She was also known to always have little quotes to share, such as: "If your day is hemmed with prayer, it is less likely to unravel." "If you see someone without a smile, give him one of yours." "A smile in the window of your face tells every one that your heart is at home." After 28 years of teaching in Buffalo, she taught 7 years in the Springfield school district before her retirement.