A powerful research tool for the serious or casual visitor.
Home > Schools - Education > Miscellaneous

Tribute to Evelyn Skalman

BURNSVILLE - - When Miss Evelyn Skalman closes the door on room 103 at Gideon Pond School this June for the last time, she will bring to an end a teach­ ing career which has spanned
over 20 years in Burnsville schools. Miss Skalman, who has taught first graders in Burns­ ville since she started her career here in the fall of 1948, has seen the district grow from the one- room District 16 school house where she was first hired to teach to its present status of many
thousand students scattered throughout numerous modern school buildings.
“When I first started teaching in Burnsville, I had about 20 stu­ dents, ranging from first through eight grade, " remembers Evelyn Skalman, "and I loved being out here."


She'd begun her teaching ca­reer in 1927 in Falls where she had graduated from the teacher training unit and moved to Hennepin County, where she taught until the three-man District 16 school board came to visit her one day and invited her to teach in Burnsville.

“I remember I wanted to come out here because the $125 month­ly salary represented an increase over the wages I was receiving and because Burnsville was closer to my home. I used to ride out from Bloomington with teach­ers who were in Orchard Lake School and in Lakeville," she recalls.

Jim Kelleher, who was a mem­ber of that three-man district 16 School Board, had three youngsters in the school when Miss Skalman began teaching.
“I remember her as a fine, cheerful person - everybody re­spected her,” he said.


Mrs. Skalman's memories of her years of teaching Burns­ ville youngsters (mostly first graders) are happy ones. She says it was always such a nice compliment to have parents r e ­ quest her for their youngsters as they became old enough to be­ gin school, and to have several ybungsters from a family in her class as the years went by.
Her obvious love for young children is apparent to the casual observer, and it is also appar­ ent that her feelings are warm­ ly reciprocated by her students. She remembers with a smile one child said to her once, “Miss Skalman, you're the best teach­er I ever had'* - and since this was prior to kindergarten days, it was obvious she was the only it was obvious she was the ONLY teacher he'd ever had.

She's seen changes in other matters than the number of stu­dents in Burnsville. Her friendly, colorful classroom is filled with books, and Miss Skalman says that if she has a favorite sub­ ject to teach it is reading. “But the books have certainly changed over the years - - why books we use now to teach first graders would have been considered third and fourth grade material v/hen
I began teaching," she states. She has always believed in teach­ing youngsters to read phoneti­cally, and no matter what the trends, she has stuck with this belief throughout the years.
As she considers her feelings next fall when school opens, she figures she'll miss it, but she says that she has passed the age of retirement, and says, “Some­ times I get so tired - -
She's looking forward to her retirement. Well-known for her beautiful gardens, she is anti­cipating having more time to de­ vote to this, one of her favorite hobbies, and to taking vacations with her sister, with whom she lives in Bloomington.

Carl Wahlberg, Principal of Gideon Pond School when asked about Miss Skalman's retire­ment seemed to echo the feel­ings of the entire district when he said, “It is a pleasure to comment on the fine contribution Miss Skalman has made to the District over the years. She is to be commended for her efforts on behalf of the children, her dedication toward the Teaching profession and her ability to de­velop in youngsters positive atti­tudes concerning discipline and respect, and the learning of basic skills. She has retained a young outlook despite her many years of teaching which has allowed her to keep pace with the chang­ing educational materials and techniques. We will miss her capable services and consider ourselves fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with her.''

Augustus_28229_edited~0.jpg schoollogo.jpg Skalman2017_01_18_11_54_48.pdf 1970_aerial_burnsville_center~0.jpg 1970_aerial_burnsville_center~0.jpg
Rate this file (No vote yet)
File information
Filename:Skalman2017_01_18_11_54_48.pdf
Album name:jeff / Miscellaneous
Archivist Comment:Name: Lelia Evelyn Skalman Birth Date: 5 Aug 1906 Birth City Fergus Falls Death Date: 18 Jun 2000 Death County: Dakota Death City: Apple Valley Mother's Maiden Name: Jensen
Filesize:1036 KiB
Date added:Feb 22, 2017
Dimensions:2048 x 2235 pixels
Displayed:81 times
URL:http://burnsvillehistory.org/cpg/displayimage.php?pid=1016
Favorites:Add to Favorites

Comment 1 to 1 of 1
Page: 1

mpkelleher   [May 08, 2017 at 11:49 PM]
Miss Skalman managed a classroom with children of different ages with quiet discipline. My favorite memory was nature walks she would take us on in the woods behind the school which would now be Neal Park.

Comment 1 to 1 of 1
Page: 1

Add your comment
Anonymous comments are not allowed here. Log in to post your comment