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Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

Couch School honors teacher

Thursday, November 9, 2006

MYRTLE -- A special teacher at Couch School has been honored by former students with a memorial in her honor.

Ida L. Andrews was a teacher and principal at the school for 33 years and was a major player in the development and success of the school.

She died in an automobile accident 30 years ago.

Leland Hall was in the first class Andrews ever taught. "She put me and Gilbert Harris in the front row because we were not the quietest in the class," Hall remembered.

Hall graduated from Couch High School in 1942.

Andrews never married. Many of her former students said her teaching position at Couch School was her whole life.

Hall said the teacher made a difference in his life, so at the school reunion in 2005 he brought up the idea for the memorial.

The 32- by 47-inch engraved memorial is a white marble slab placed against a triangular support base. On the top of the memorial is a bronze Bird of Flight" by Bernini of Naples, Italy, donated by Hall and his wife, Tina.

Hall said the memorial was placed at the front of the school about a week before Labor Day. The memorial bears the names of former students who contributed to the project.

"There was no foolishness about her. She was straight as a string and very strict. I think she would be honored and proud of the memorial," Hall said.

Mammoth Spring High School English teacher Jo Kay Smith, a 1962 graduate of Couch High School and a former student of Andrews, said "She was a principal years ago when women were not in authority in our area,"

Smith said Andrews had a good work ethic and took care of everything at the school. "She was Couch School," Smith said.

Retired Mammoth Spring Elementary School Principal Ruth Stevens was also a Couch High School graduate of 1962 and former student of Andrews.

"She ran our school with an iron hand and it worked. I have a great deal of respect for her," Stevens said.

Smith said she thinks because of Andrews influence several Couch School graduates became teachers. Some of those, besides Smith and Stevens, are include Barbara Olbricht, Tom and Joan Bull and the England family who had nine children in their family, seven of whom became teachers.

Hall said students who helped him place the memorial at the school were Brandon Clayton, Anthony Deckard, Brad Hopper, Chris Lee, Derrick Martin, Logan McGhee and Zach Fling.

Librarian and English teacher Jo Kay Smith was also a student of Andrews.

"She was a principal back when women were not in the position of authority in our area," Smith said.

Smith said the teacher had a very good work ethic. "She also turned a lot of teachers out of Couch School," Smith said. She said of the Andrews former students that became teachers besides herself include Ruth Stevens, Barbara Olbricht, Tom and Joan Bull and the England family where seven of the nine children that graduated from Couch School became teachers.

Smith and retired Mammoth Spring Elementary School Principal Ruth Stevens graduated with the Couch class of 1962.

"She ran our school with an iron hand and it worked. When you heard her heels in the hall you automatically straightened up," Stevens said.

The former principal said Andrews set high standards and did things the right way.

"I have a great deal of respect for her,she said.

Hall said he appreciates the support of the other former students who helped by contributing to the project. Hall said Couch High School students who helped move and place the stone included Brandon Clayton, anthony Deckard, Brad Hopper, Chris Lee. Derrick Martin, Logan McGhee and Zach Fling.



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