Posted: 12:00 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012

Donovan Elementary dedicates Mary Jo Cropper Media Center


Donovan Elementary dedicates Mary Jo Cropper Media Center photo
Justin McClelland
Teachers, members of the PTO and Optimist Club members gather Tuesday for the opening of Donovan Elementary School’s refurbished student media center.

By Justin McClelland

Staff Writer

Mary Jo cropper loved teaching and reading, according to family and friends who knew her best

“She loved teaching and children,” said her daughter, Amy Settlemyre. “She’d just be thrilled to know her name is now forever associated with reading.”

Cropper’s family and friends were on hand Sept. 25 for the dedication of the Mary Jo Cropper Media Center at Donovan Elementary School in Lebanon. The refurbished library has newly painted walls and carpeting as well as a comfortable reading area for students to read, study and research. It had previously been a cold, white and uninviting room, according to school staff.

“We’re very honored that one of Mary Jo’s last acts was to give to the school like this,” said Donovan Principal Clifton Franz. “We’ve been able to create a nice relaxing area where kids can enjoy a book. Having a comfortable, welcoming space is vital to encouraging reading among students. It’s a place outside of class for students to continue to learn.”

Cropper, who died in 2010 from breast cancer, asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her name to the Lebanon Optimist Club, of which she was a charter member. The Club collected more than $8,000, which they donated to the school.

“Mary Jo was a teacher for more than 30 years, including some here at Donovan so we thought it was a worthwhile way to use the money in her honor,” Optimist Club President Marcia Collopy said. “She had a passion for reading so it just fit in well.”

The Optimist Club promotes activities and events that help the youth in the community, Collopy said.

“I am sure that Mary Jo is looking down on us with pride,” said Lebanon Mayor Amy Brewer, who is also a teacher at Donovan. “To know that her influence was able to to transform this space into something beautiful and special is wonderful.”


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