Who is Marilyn Thiele Wilson?
(Thiele pronounced as Teal)
Remarks by Claudia Walters, Board Member, at November 26, 1996 Board Meeting.
We have had the opportunity to name many schools in Mesa. Our high schools traditionally have been named after the part of the community in which they reside, or a nearby landmark. Our junior highs have been named after explorers and early Mesa pioneers, as well as the "pioneer" superintendents of Mesa schools. Our elementary schools have been named after deceased poets and presidents and geographical locations. In recent years, we have also named several elementary schools after individuals who have made great contributions to our society, such as Sandra Day O'Connor and Barbara Pierce Bush, or those who were great contributors to Mesa's youth, such as Veora Johnson and Marjorie Entz. Two of my own children have benefited by attending a school named after a living legend, Dr. John Kerr. Dr. Kerr attends many functions at the school, and serves as a tremendous role model to the students there.
Tonight, I would like to recommend for our 51st elementary school, the name of another "living legend" in Mesa. This is a woman who has served on the City of Mesa library board, the Mesa board of directors for the American Cancer Society, is a past president of the Mesa Senior Centers board and continues to serve as a member of that board. She is the administrative board chairman for Grace United Methodist Church. When her children were in elementary school, she was the PTO president and a school volunteer at Whitman Elementary school. She has worked on United Way committees, on the Governor's Task Force on Educational Reform, has been a participant in Arizona Town Hall, was a founding parent and former vice-president of the Mesa Parents' Association for the Gifted and Talented. She is a board member for West Education Research Agency, the regional education laboratory serving children in Arizona and three other western states. She has served on numerous committees for the Arizona Department of Education and the Arizona School Boards Association. She is past president of the Maricopa County School Boards Association and, in 1992 as the president of the Arizona School Boards Association. She has been a member of the All-Arizona School Board and has been Mesa's Woman of the Year. She accomplished most of these things while simultaneously serving for sixteen years as a member of the Mesa Unified School District Governing Board. That is the longest term of office of anyone in the history of the unified district.
She is a graduate of the University of Iowa, and has taught English and French at the junior high school level. She is the wife of a busy physician and the mother of three wonderful children. Her husband says that she has continued to recognize the importance of her role as a mother, even as her children have transitioned into adults. She has supported her children and her husband and they have been proud of the service she has given Mesa's children. She is a wonderful role model, not only to the children of Mesa, but to all of us in Mesa. The poet, James Russell Lowell said, "Not what we give, but what we share - For the gift without the giver is bare. Who gives himself with his alms feed three - Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me." She has given of herself not just to three, but to our community, and to our state. We have all been fed by her sharing.
It is with great appreciation that I move that the 51st Elementary school in Mesa be named the Marilyn Thiele Wilson Elementary School.