CENTERBURG — In a ceremony full of memories, laughter and tears, the Centerburg community rededicated the high school/middle school library on Sunday, naming it the Jacqueline McCalla Cordle Learning Center in honor of a woman who has given much to the school and to the community at large.
A Centerburg High School graduate, Cordle returned to her alma mater and served as a teacher and guidance counselor from 1963 to 1991. She also volunteered at the school in various capacities from 1944 to 2008. The school family wanted to let Cordle know how much she means to the district.
School board president Roger Clark spoke of how he came to know Cordle, and lauded what he called her non-stop generosity to the school district and the community at large. Clark pointed to the dedication plaque bearing Cordle’s portrait and the name over the learning center door. Speaking into the camera recording the ceremony for Cordle, who was unable to attend, he said, “We are honored to have you make the first impression of everyone who comes in the school doors.”
Ed Lambert, board vice president and a former student of Cordle, told of her impact on his life, and described her continuing involvement with education and organizations such as The Salvation Army.
“She is a philanthropist who provided help to people who needed help,” said Lambert.
“An advocate for children, for the community and for education” is how Centerburg High School teacher Todd Nauman characterized Cordle.
“She has an almost divine positiveness about her,” Nauman continued. “She is one of the most genuine personalities I have ever encountered. ... She always found the silver lining and the right thing to say.”
Representing the Centerburg FCCLA, Kallie Haines, club president, explained the impact Cordle has had on students.
“She always brings a big smile and a warm ray of sunshine with her,” Haines said. “Her unselfish acts of kindness taught us the importance of volunteerism. ... She always encouraged us to find the best in ourselves.”
Cordial, in a message read by Superintendent Dorothy Holden, said she was not only honored but humbled to have the learning center named after her.
“The students have taught me so much,” she said. “Through good times and hard times, I have always been proud of this school. ... Thank you for the privilege of teaching your children.”
Holden, after sharing stories of her personal and professional relationship with Cordle, said, “Jacque, you have touched thousands of lives while working in the shadows. ... You have recognized the humanity in all of us. You have sown many seeds. Be assured your work, your message will go on and on.”
Erin Cordle, Jacque’s daughter, thanked the school board and community for honoring her mother.
“She truly has been a tireless community supporter and advocate,” Erin said, “and sometimes even its conscience.”
The ceremony ended with remarks and a prayer by school board member Leroy Bumpus. He assured Cordle her legacy is well and alive, and will be now and for generations to come — even into eternity.
A reception followed the ceremony.