Dr. Elizabeth Douglas Wagner, PHD Inducted 1997 - Class of 1944
Known as "Liz" to her friends and family, Elizabeth Douglas Wagner is a perfect example of a lifelong Toledoan, who attended and graduated from Toledo Public Schools, and has "given back" many times over. Tonight we have the opportunity to say "Thanks" and to congratulate Liz on her successes. Liz grew up in North Toledo, where "everyone knew everyone, and we were all close." She attended Stickney Elementary School before beginning her Woodward "career."
Liz's favorite memories of Woodward center around the yearbook, the Saga. As a senior, she served as Editor and describes the experience as "thrilling." Her best friends were all on the yearbook staff: Ruth, Lloyd, Calvin, Lorraine, Bertha, Dick, Betty, Lottie, Irv, and Betty Periatt. Andy Fenady and Gertrude Steiner were also part of Liz's wide circle of friends. Liz recalls the Senior Banquet as being an event which brought all of the 1946 grads close together. It capped her high school experience.
Ray Sheline, yearbook advisor, was one of two teachers Liz calls her favorites. Clarence Ball was the other, who Liz credits with giving her "a deep appreciation of all types of music," Liz also dabbled in politics, by running for class office. She remembers her most effective campaign slogan: "Don't be Dizzy, Vote for Lizzy." "Although I hated the name 'Lizzy', it was the best rhyme I could think of at the time'" (I wonder if Liz got any pointers from her brother, the Honorable Justice Andy Douglas, who has proven to be a very effective campaigner.)
Liz's professional background may be best summarized by those who nominated her for the WHS Hall of Fame: "Untiring service to the field of public education as a teacher, counselor, psychologist, and administrator." Liz's education credentials prepared her for her impressive contributions. Her degrees include Bachelor of Education, Master of Education, Educational Specialist and a Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Toledo. She is certified by the state of Ohio as a teacher, counselor, psychologist and in pupil and staff personnel administration.
Liz began her career as a teacher. Before moving into psychology, she spent 12 years in public relations, including 7 years as a Director of Public Relations for Channel 13. During this period, she wrote and produced an award-winning documentary film, "The One Inside," which examined conditions at the Toledo Mental Health Center. The series was awarded the National Sylvania Television Award for the best locally produced public service TV program. It also resulted in a large allocation of State Funds for improvement at the Center.
Liz then worked as a clinical psychologist for Toledo Public Schools for14 years, with a goal of working with parents and students "to obtain maximum education and life goals." Liz's last position with Toledo Public Schools was perhaps her most impressive. She was the Director of the Employee Assistance Program during the 12 years preceding her retirement in September of 1994. In fact, in 1981, Liz designed, proposed and initiated the first school-based Employee Assistance Program in Ohio, and one of only three such programs in the country. The program received national attention, and Liz often acted as a resource person or consultant to school systems throughout the country who were in the process of setting up Employee Assistance programs. The purpose of an Employee Assistance Program is to combine sound management principles with a humanitarian approach in working with employees on personal life adjustment problems, including chemical dependency prevention and treatment. Healthy, productive employees mean good education for students, which is the bottom line for a school system.
Liz has also served as the treasurer of the Toledo Teachers Credit Union; on the Board of the State of Ohio Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services; on the Police Advisory Board; and on the Child Study Institute Board. She is currently listed in the Midwest Edition of "Who's Who" as a result of her professional achievements. Liz is married to Charles Bleckner and has a son Christopher Wagner.
She enjoys golf, reading and loves to travel. Liz has cruised on the Queen Elizabeth II and has been to London, Paris, Rome, Scotland, Bermuda and Hawaii.
When asked her reaction to her election into the WHS Hall of Fame, Liz exclaimed that she was honored and relieved. "Now my brother Andy Douglas, and friend Andy Fenady can quit bugging me!" Liz now joins the two Andy's, who are also among the chosen few to be inducted into Woodward's Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Liz!