WEIRTON - Weirton Hall of Fame officials have announced that Dolores Pickens will be inducted into the hall this year in the category of education.
Pickens was born in Wheeling in 1915. She attended West Liberty State College from 1933 to 1937 where she studied English and secretarial studies then went on to Marshall College from 1938 to 1939 where she studied English and education.
In 1943, Pickens became a teacher at Weir High School where served as a student council advisor for 27 years, sponsored eight different senior classes, sponsored Future Teachers of America for four years and sponsored Future Nurses of America for two years. Throughout her many years of teaching, Pickens touched the lives of more than 10,000 students and during the last 55 years, more than $100,000 in scholarships have been given out to students in memory of her son.
Students recall her saying that she had "so much to teach" them and would illuminate English literature with personal stories and experiences. She would say there was no room for idle time and her students learned to do research papers with more exhaustive detail than any college professor would later demand.
Pickens dedicated herself to the development of her students intellectually and spiritually. She would say there was a method to her madness or that she would have to be cruel to be kind.
In her teachings, Pickens would use the classics to impart wisdom and in 1980, a tribute appeared in the newspaper where in her own words she said, "I wanted to instill into each student's life the high ideals and steadfast courage needed to follow the path of righteousnes even in the face of disappointment and severe criticism from their companions.
"Through the tragedy of the loss of my son, I felt I had been chosen by my Creator to live as an example to the children He placed in my care. I started each day by asking the Greatest Teacher of them all to help me lead students to God. I wanted to see that there were no unburned candles among my students and to enable them to make the many decisions necessary in planning a good life and in conducting it properly."
Student accomplishments did not go unrecognized by this teacher. Pickens would give students who accomplished academic achievement or some other noteworthy thing a greeting card, bookmark, inspirational pamphlet or book that let them know they were appreciated.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. April 15 at the Knights of Columbus.
Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased at the Weirton City Building, the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce and Marsh's Hardware. For more information contact Frank Bohach at (304) 479-7419.
The public is encouraged to attend.
(Dickson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)