Shinn column: We also loved our Mrs. Corriher at Mt. Zion

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 16, 2009

What a thrill it was to interview Barbara Corriher at Mount Zion preschool for the Piedmont Profile which ran Monday.
I’m a true-blue Grove Girl, but somehow I’d never met Barbara. I thought sometime I’d just march myself down there and introduce myself. Then I realized she’d be a great person about which to write a profile.
Of course, it wasn’t a perfectly altruistic choice.
I was a little biased.
OK, maybe more than a little. I went to kindergarten at Mount Zion.
I had my own Mrs. Corriher.
Mrs. Edith Corriher.
Mrs. Edith B. Corriher.
Mrs. Edith Beaver Corriher.
If you are going to discuss Corrihers, you must be extremely specific.
Just as the children there now adore their Mrs. Corriher, I adored mine.
A lot of things there are different than they were nearly 40 years ago. Books, puzzles, toys. Of course they’ve been updated.
But the children still play with our wooden blocks. They evidently must last forever.
The same pictures of Jesus hang on the walls.
Our kindergarten room is now the choir room, but my mother taught in Barbara’s classroom when they started a 4-year-old class.
Mother still has a special place in her heart for Chad Corriher, Bryan Freeze and her other students.
Things have changed, of course. But the preschool is still a place of love and learning. It’s safe and it’s warm and there are teachers there who love their children very much.
I don’t know if there was a waiting list when I was little, but there’s one now.
We were neighbors with Crawford and Edith Corriher, so I guess that’s how I got in. I don’t remember. What I do remember is how sweet and soft-spoken Mrs. Corriher was. Just by playing a few notes on the piano in her room, Mrs. Corriher got our attention.
She wore plain, printed dresses that farmers’ wives wore. I thought she was really old, but Barbara figures Mrs. Corriher was only in her 50s then ó the same age Barbara is now! (Actually, she was in her early 60s.)
But such good memories.
Sandy Bradshaw Welch’s daddy drove us to the farm one day.
We played “Red Rover” and “Bum Bum Bum” in the side yard. We made friends we went all the way through school with.
Sandy remembers how loving Mrs. Corriher was. And the blocks. And the wooden train you could ride on. And taking towels for nap time.
Julie McGee Corriher uses the exact same word to describe Mrs. Corriher.
She met her husband, Darren, in kindergarten. He remembers the day Crystal Bost Allen ran away (she didn’t get far), and Julie remembers the time Lynn Albright Bynum bit her tongue.
She also remembers the time I wore pajama pants under my dress, but I’m not clear on that one.
What we are clear on is how dear Mrs. Corriher was to us.
“She was always so patient with everything we did,” Julie says. “She did a great job. We learned.”

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