Marie Doering Ersig            Inducted 1985 - Teacher

Those of us who had the good fortune to have been associated with Marie Doering Ersig during her, and our, years at Woodward High School remember most of all her insistence that we live up to the potential she searched for and found in us and the encouragement she gave us to reach that goal.

Mrs. Ersig's career as a teacher encompassed 38 years, nearly all of them at Woodward. A native of Toledo, she was graduated from Scott High School and enrolled in a three-year elementary education course at the University of Toledo, taking extra subjects to enable her to earn a bachelor of science degree in those three years. Assigned to teach English to 7th and 8th graders at Wayne School, she continued to take courses at UT and received a bachelor of arts degree in1927.

Two weeks after school opened that fall, she was assigned to teach English at Woodward, and there she remained until her retirement in June, 1963. During that period she had two leaves of absence -

in 1938 when her son, Dean (now Dr. Dean Ersig, a Toledo physician), was born, and in 1940 when her daughter, Dian, was born.

Early in her career at Woodward, Mrs. Ersig was asked to become the adviser to the school newspaper, the Tattler, and to teach the journalism class. This assignment, which continued until her retirement, she considers "perhaps the most challenging and most interesting opportunity" of her years at Woodward. She also was the first woman ever chosen to serve on the Woodward Athletic Board. Named to a one-year term, she was reappointed to serve three more years.

Through her involvement with the Tattler, she was invited around 1950 to teach in the Ohio University Workshop on High School Publications for a week in June, when students came from all over the country for an intensive course in how to produce a school newspaper. Members of the faculty were chosen from various parts of the state, and Mrs. Ersig represented northwestern Ohio, something she continued doing until her retirement and for which she received a Distinguished Service Award.

Somehow Mrs. Ersig found time to get involved with activities away from Woodward. When her children were in elementary school, for instance, she became a Girl Scout leader and also the superintendent of a Sunday School at St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

She was a member of the Toledo Teachers Association, the Ohio Education Association, and the National Education Association. She served two terms as secretary of the ITA and two terms as vice president, and served the first year of a two-year term as president, retiring in June of 1963 because of the illness of her husband. Appointed a member of the Personnel Standards Commission of the OEA for a three-year period, she participated in studies conducted in Bellefontaine, Struthers, and Geneva. In 1963 she was elected chairman of the commission and was chairman of the study panel at Geneva.

She has been a member of the Gottshall-Rex Memorial Foundation since 1947, serving first as secretary and more recently as president. The foundation provides grants and non-interest-bearing loans to girls wishing to further their studies in physical education on a college level.

Since her retirement from teaching, Mrs. Ersig has been engaged in volunteer work at Toledo Hospital, an activity for which, in 1980, she received the Golden Shoe award. The citation said in part that the award was being presented "For sixteen years of continuous volunteer service so generously given . . . for exemplifying the very best in volunteering by gracious manner, tact, and commitment always fulfilled . . ."

The influence Mrs. Ersig exerted on her students is perhaps best expressed by James Hope, another of this year's Hall of Fame inductees. In a letter to Mrs. Ersig, Mr. Hope wrote: "I have many treasured memories of my years at Woodward High School and especially of you. You were the motivating force in my life and the most dedicated teacher under whom I studied throughout my scholastic career ... I shall be forever grateful to you for helping me achieve whatever success I have accomplished over the years."

©2020 Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame

  • Facebook