McGuire named Eureka Springs High School Alumnus of the Year

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Phyllis McGuire is this year’s Eureka Springs High School Alumnus of the year. McGuire received the award from the Eureka Springs High School Alumni Association.

McGuire moved to Eureka Springs in 1948 at the age of 3, and she’s still here 70 years later. She was in the first grade class that started school in the “new school” built on Highway 62. After graduating from Eureka Springs High School in 1962, she attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1966. The next year, she received her master’s degree in elementary education.

She married Rod McGuire in 1966 while teaching in Springdale. The next year, she taught in Tulsa and returned to Eureka Springs in 1968 to teach fourth grade while her husband was in Vietnam. Upon his return, she taught elementary school in Little Rock. In 1970, after receiving specialized training in learning disabilities, McGuire taught children with learning disabilities in a resource room in Huntsville for two years.

May of 1972 found her back home in Eureka Springs, giving birth to her first child, Kevin, and signing a contract to teach elementary school at the Eureka Springs School District. She retired from teaching in May 2008 after teaching Eureka’s kids for 36 years.

Her love, she said, was the excitement of teaching children to read. She loved to play the piano daily while the children sang patriotic songs and old favorites, like Paw Paw Patch. She enjoyed fun with her classes, like using puppets and producing plays.

Among her accomplishments are 11 years as chairman of the Eureka Springs Historical Museum board, where, together with her husband, she created, produced and directed “Voices from Eureka’s Silent City” for seven years, raising tens of thousands of dollars for the museum. She conducted many teacher in-service seminars on how to teach children with learning disabilities and seminars on how to teach using the Program for Effective Teaching (PET) method.

McGuire was a member of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority and is active in many projects with her church. She has taught the youth CCD classes, been on the Parish Council several times and currently works with her husband to put on the King Cake Ball during the Mardi Gras season.

Currently, McGuire enjoys being a Eureka Gras Cavalier and loves working at Flint Street, ECHO and Meals on Wheels.

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