Monday, November 20, 2006

Beda Mackin: The one teacher almost every Central alumnus can remember

You may not have been in her homeroom or taken one of her classes, but if you're an alumnus of Madison Central High School, you probably remember Beda Mackin because she taught at Central for almost 40 years: from 1928-1966.

And Miss Mackin was involved with Madison Central High School well before she became a teacher. Like many members of Central's faculty, Miss Mackin was also an alumnus. Along with Wayne Morse and Mildred Downie, she was a member of the Class of 1919. Below is a scan of a photo of the [Girls'] Debating Club from page 83 of the 1919 Tychoberahn. Beda Mackin is seated on the far right side of the middle row.

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As I wrote the paragraphs above the scanned image, I was keenly aware of the fact that I was violating generally accepted style rules for second references. Honorifics such as "Miss" are rarely used in newspapers and magazines these days. But that wasn't the case prior to 1969 when the last class graduated from Central. Teachers were always referred to as "Mr." or "Miss" or "Mrs." or maybe "Coach" -- unless, of course, they were referred to by a nickname that probably wasn't ever used in their presence.

Miss Mackin graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1924. You can see her senior class photo from the Badger yearbook by clicking HERE.

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