Dora students were blessed with many excellent teachers, but there is one, Josephine Andrews, that I like to refer to as “Mrs. Dora High School.”
First of all, I remember her as a teacher. I was not one of her students in Democracy class, but I was one of her students in the class of Life. Why did she care that we learned valuable and productive life lesson? Because She Loved Us!
Secondly, I remember walking in the front door of our beautiful DHS and seeing her, always there, in our school office. To call her a secretary is a misnomer. She effectively took care of all school business, and she was a friend, a substitute mother, a nurse, and a counselor for all students.
Why? Because She Loved Us!
My third memory is of Mrs. Andrews as Beta Club sponsor. (We had no National Honor Society, so, being a Beta Club member was the ultimate honor.) Our Beta meetings were not times for socializing.
Because of Mrs. Andrews, the meetings were all business. We learned what Beta Club stood for and we learned how to conduct and participate in orderly meetings. But – When we went to a Beta party – always at the home of Josephine and Paul, her terrific husband – then we could socialize, enjoy the delicious food she had spent hours preparing, and stay there as long as our parents would allow. And, who could ever forget the Beta Club conventions at the Tutweiler Hotel in the big city of Birmingham? I can see us now – pretty girls in our Sunday attire and handsome boys in their suits and ties!
Of course, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews were on the bus with us. There were no lectures on behavior. We instinctively knew what Mrs. Andrews expected of us as representatives of Dora High School. Why did she want us to honor our parents and our school? Because She Loved Us!
Last of all, I remember Mrs. Andrews as director of the MissDHS Contest. (Guys – don’t stop reading this section about winning.) Her philosophy was, “Practice ’til perfect.” And, practice we did. Mr. Gant never seemed to mind how long it took, or how many classes we missed. On the night of the big event, Mrs. Andrews was backstage. She checked us out – our fancy dresses, our shoes, and our hair. Then she would pinch our cheeks to make our faces glow. If that did not work, here came her remedy: lots of rouge. Her words before we went on stage were, “Smile, do your best, and win.” Why did she want all of us to be winners? Because She Loved Us!
Yes, Mrs. Andrews was a grand lady. So, Here’s to You, Mrs. Dora High School! Why? Because We Loved You!