Verda Dierzen’s interest in education bloomed as a child in rural McHenry County. She began her formal schooling at Charles School on Greenwood Road and graduated from Woodstock High School in 1934.
Her first job in education was in 1936 at Greenwood School where she served as a classroom teacher and principal. In 1941 she married her high school sweetheart, Lawrence Dierzen. Eager to expand her teaching skills, Mrs. Dierzen enrolled in Northern Illinois University and earned her teaching degree in 1945. That same year, she was asked to serve as Assistant County Superintendent. In 1950 she went back to the classroom, initiating kindergarten programs at both Greenwood and Westwood schools.
Following the birth of a son, James, Mrs. Dierzen returned to work in 1951 as a mathematics and home arts teacher at Westwood Junior High. She then served as that school’s principal from 1952 to 1958. During that same time period, she completed her Masters degree in leadership (1951) and received certification in administration and supervision. In 1958, following her tenure at Westwood Junior High, she went on to become the curriculum coordinator and then assistant superintendent of instruction and transportation for Woodstock Rural District 10.
In 1967, Mrs. Dierzen became the superintendent of District 10 where she worked for the successful consolidation of Elementary School Districts 10 and 72 and High School District 152. Upon the completion of that merger in 1969, she became the assistant superintendent of the new Woodstock Community Unit School District 200.
She retired from District 200 in 1972 but remained active in the local educational community serving as an instructional consultant for SEDOM for nine years, public relations director for the McHenry County Retired Teachers Association, and memorial chairman for the McHenry County American Heart Association. She was a charter member of the Woodstock chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Teachers Society and continued as an active member of the group for over fifty years. Mrs. Dierzen visited “her school” frequently to read and interact with the children and attend special events.
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