Some of the best teachers educate their students without those students knowing that they are learning. This was one of Ginny (Spencer) Drummond’s gifts. From painting Mount Olympus on her classroom wall at Central when introducing students to the Greek gods, to singing times tables to the beat of her favorite songs during class dance parties, Drummond would go above and beyond to engage her students with the lessons Drummond shared this and other gifts with her students for thirty-five years as an educator. And it is this career that is being honored by Drummond’s induction into the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation’s Educator Hall of Fame. Fortunately, no one told Ginny she was in the running for this honor until after she was selected because she has always been adamantly opposed to competing against other teachers for anything, and would have insisted her name be removed from consideration.
Ginny was born and raised in Bartlesville and was a proud graduate of College High, Class of 1963. She wanted to be a teacher ever since she was a young girl. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education with a social studies minor from Oklahoma State University. She started teaching shortly after graduating college, first in Oklahoma City, then for three years in California, before returning to Oklahoma to teach sixth grade in Ramona for three years.
Dan Brock, Bartlesville’s elementary school coordinator at the time, made several attempts to bring her back to Bartlesville. At the time, she was a single mom to two young girls, and liked the idea of returning to her hometown where her parents still lived. She began her career in Bartlesville Public Schools teaching third grade at Oak Park Elementary and moving into sixth grade at Oak Park before the District restructured and transitioned sixth through eighth grade students to Central Middle School.
During the District’s restructuring, Ginny moved to Central at the request of Earl Sears. She spent the next seven years teaching English to sixth graders. Always eager to continue her own learning, she went back to school to get her masters in Counseling Psychology from Northeastern State University.
While being a mother to three girls, teaching full-time, and commuting to Tulsa in the evenings for her Masters classes, she also prioritized time to tutor students. Drummond would tutor students after school, run home and make her girls dinner, then drive to Tulsa for her class. Despite her busy schedule, when she was with her students, she made them feel as if their education was the only thing that mattered.
From teaching in the classroom at Central, Drummond moved to the Mid-High to serve as a counselor for nine years before retiring after a twenty-five year career in the Bartlesville Public Schools. She loved her time as a counselor and had a gift for identifying areas where her students had a passion and aptitude, helping them navigate a path to achieve their goals, both as a student and as a person.
One project Ginny is particularly proud of from her successful career is the program she started with Lena Smith one summer while teaching at Oak Park. Drummond and Smith saw a need for students to receive remediation during the summer, so they formed C.O.R.E (Curriculum Opportunities for Remediation and Enrichment). They set up classrooms in Smith’s basement, hired a few teachers, and began teaching students four hours a day. They operated this summer program for three years, always reaching maximum capacity. They did it for the love of teaching; for the love of making sure that no child was left behind.
Like many teachers, Drummond has stayed busy in her retirement. She served as the director of Green Country Village for two years and then transitioned into volunteer work. She has volunteered with Helping Hands and Meals on Wheels for approximately ten years. She is an active member of the P.E.O. philanthropic organization for women, having served in various roles over the fifty-two years she’s been a member of its Bartlesville and Tulsa chapters, including serving as secretary and treasurer. Ginny serves as an elder and deacon in her church, First Presbyterian Church in Tulsa, and on the widow’s board. She is also a proud member of the Kappa Alpha Theta Alumni Association. Despite her many volunteer commitments, she prioritizes supporting her three daughters and six grandchildren in all of their activities, from watching swim meets to attending choir concerts.
The Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation has been investing in students and staff members within the district since 1985. A $1,000 grant in Ms. Drummond’s name will go to the Bartlesville High School Counseling Department. The money generated by the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on March 31, 2022, will help fund the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation’s programs. Tickets are available on the Foundation’s website at bpsfoundation.org/educator-hall-of-fame/.