Long-time teacher leaves lasting legacy

Local News

CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — A long-time Charleston High School teacher left behind a lasting legacy after her death.

“She just loved teaching so much and she continued to do that and she continued to do what she wanted to do until it was time for her to go.”

Nell Wiseman died Tuesday. She started teaching at Charleston High School in 1959 and worked there longer than anyone in the school district’s history. But even though she’s gone, her memory lives on through the lives she impacted.

“She’s touched thousands and thousands of lives. If you start adding it up, a teacher that would have 125 kids a year, you can do the math there.”

58 years: That’s how long Wiseman was a teacher at Charleston High School.

“I have known Mrs. Wiseman for a long time because I had her as a teacher. I went to Charleston High School here and I graduated in ’77.”

Generations of high schoolers took Mrs. Wiseman’s math and English classes. Carol Lawson’s children and their children had her as a teacher and they say she was a sensation. 

“She was a great teacher. She was always very grateful and generous and kind, easy to work with. She didn’t ask for much.”

But she gave it all to the kids in her classes.

“She always took the extra step to help her students achieve.” 

She took pride in her students, just as they took pride in their teacher. And you can see that by the posters her students made for her now hanging on the walls of her old classroom.

“The last words a student remembers Mrs. Wiseman saying to her, ‘You are so sweet, always smiling. You are so different from everyone else.'”

She meant so much to so many. There aren’t many pictures of her because she was always the one behind the camera. She loved to take pictures for the school and document the highlights throughout the years.

“She was very kind and very giving, very positive and enthusiastic about what she did.”

That enthusiasm carried over to her students and they won’t soon forget her. The principal says, right after school got out Thursday, several teachers left to help plan a memorial service for Wiseman. No details have been released.

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