Nadine Peacock Standland spent 26 years as an educator in public school. She and her husband Robert Earl Standland raised three children Cynthia, David, and Kevin. Standland graduated from Marianna High School in 1959 and was in the last graduating class of students who began first grade at Marianna and graduated from Marianna. Robert Earl and Nadine Standland have just celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary.
Following graduation from MHS, Standland attended Chipola College before transferring to Florida State University where she majored in elementary education and junior high social studies, civics, and geography. Following graduation from FSU in December 1963, she began her teaching career at Marianna High School as a substitute teacher. Standland explains, “Graduating in December, it was the middle of the school year so I started substituting and in those days, if you were a substitute, the county office sent you out to substitute. I was sent to Grand Ridge, Golson, and Marianna High.”
The following year, she started teaching full time where she taught seventh grade math, science, geography and one class of study hall. In study hall, she said she had 150 kids at one time with class held in the auditorium. Standland said, “Having 150 students in one class was hard. I had some great teachers I worked with that were very helpful.”
Standland recalls having help another time when she teaching at MHS, “In my second year at Marianna High School, I was the junior high cheerleader sponsor. Coach McCool was a huge help with that. Other schools we played were beginning to be integrated and Coach McCool was a huge help, and I had a very supportive group of parents. At that time, the cheerleaders didn’t go on a bus. We went with parents or sponsors and he was all a tremendous help during all of that.”
Standland left teaching for a brief time and soon became involved and very active along with her husband in the Jackson Christian School. “Our kids were enrolled there and initially they were using the Abeka curriculum. They changed from that curriculum and the new one did not succeed and parents left the school and it faltered and closed.” Standland substituted the next year before she started teaching at Marianna Middle School. There she taught eighth grade history and seventh grade geography before taking the position as librarian at Marianna Middle. She remained in the library for 26 years before retiring in 2003.
When asked about her choice of classes she taught and if she preferred one over the other, Standland was very quick to say, “I knew when I interned that either reading or library science was what I liked. I loved teaching reading and of course that’s in with the library too. I loved history and the library combined it all. I was our church librarian for 22 years at First Baptist church. Mrs. Hales started the library when I was in high school. She is dear sweet lady and did so much.”
Mrs. Standland has nothing but fond memories of her days as a student at Marianna, “Growing up and while I was in high school, I had a lot of good teachers and I had some good coaches who were good teachers. Coach Howell was a good teacher and when I started teaching, he was later my principal. I had Mr. Amie, for Algebra I. Mr. Amie was an older man and I can remember Coach Stringer talking about what a great math teacher he was and saying, ‘Mr. Amie has forgotten more math than most will ever know.’ Stringer respected him greatly as a teacher. I had Mr. Riley (George) for Algebra II and Mr. Stringer for study hall. All of these teachers were coaches and you know coaches are not always the best teachers, but we had coaches who were great teachers. Coach Stringer was a super teacher and when he coached, everyone played. Mrs. Carter of course was another super teacher and it was nice that I had her as a teacher and then she was my colleague for four years. I had planning the same time she did and that was great sharing with a former teacher and then a colleague.”
On a personal note, Mrs. Standland shared a story about when she returned to teaching and her daughter Cynthia was four years old, “I took her to school with me every morning and my students all wanted to be the one to walk her across the street to Mrs. Dot West’s kindergarten. I came up with a list so that everyone had a turn to walk her. She was just four years old and Mrs. West usually did not take them that young but Cynthia had a friend who was going and Mrs. West agreed to let her go. The students were happy and they all took turns walking her every day.
The libraries of today have, as have many things, changed drastically. They are moving into a digital world to keep up with the times. They are now referred to as Media Centers rather than libraries and librarians are now referred to as Media Specialist. Although the names and titles may change, the love of knowledge gained through reading books remains the same.