Princess Killebrew of Lander was named a Professor Emeritus at Central Wyoming College on Thursday. (Ernie Over photo)
(Riverton, Wyo.) – A dedicated educator who retired twice in her career and who now supervises student teachers in three Wyoming school districts was awarded status as as a Professor Emeritus at Central Wyoming College on Thursday. The honor was bestowed upon Princess Killebrew of Lander by CWC President Dr. JoAnne Y. McFarland during the annual Fall Convocation held on campus.
“This morning I have the honor of bestowing an incredible honor on one of our most outstanding long-serving faculty members,” McFarland said. “Princess Killebrew is one of the best of the best.” McFarland said the honor was extended after the college faculty, by a two-thirds super majority, voted Killebrew for the honor. “Le me tell you, to get the faculty to agree on anything to that degree is rare, indeed,” she laughed.
With Killebrew’s selection, only 24 faculty members have been extended the honor in the college’s 47-year history. Other Professors Emeriti in attendance at the Convocation included Barbara Gose, Ron Broce and Roger Melton.
Among Killebrew’s numerous honors was designation by the National Council of Teachers in Mathematics as the Most Outstanding Math Teacher in the State of Wyoming in 1987.
Killebrew started her teaching career in the State of Arizona after obtaining both bachelors and master degrees from Northern Arizona University. She moved with her family to Lander in 1973 where she and her husband Howard had purchased a ranch and raised their son David and daughter Kimberly. Soon after that, Killebrew began teaching math and English at Wyoming Indian High School. After 19 years at WIHS, Killebrew retired, for the first time. McFarland noted that she was idle for only a semester before she came out of retirement to teach at CWC, first on a part-time basis, then half-time and eventually as a full-time benefitted faculty member for 14 years. After two decades at CWC, Killebrew retired a second time.
True to form, that didn’t last long and today Killebrew is now supervising student teachers in Rock Springs, Kemmerer and Thermopolis for Valley City State University in South Dakota and for the Western Governors University.
“She told me that she didn’t think it was necessary for students to say they had fun in her classes. What she really cared about was helping students reach their goals, focusing on their needs, preparing them for the future,” McFarland said. “According to Princess, we need to always put our students first. Her focus was always on the achievements of her students, many of whom are teaching in public schools throughout the region.”
The CWC president also noted that Killebrew had grown as an educator, changing her focus from only the content of curriculum to the learning that took place. “Her biggest thrill was creating new approaches to learning, and she loved to solve learning problems that her students encountered.”