Creston Community High School’s 2019 Hall of Fame distinguished faculty member, Sharon Snodgrass has worked in nearly every elementary building in the system and at nearly every job from teacher’s aide to support staff — when they learned she could type — to teacher to administrator and school board member.
“I’ve never had a janitor’s job, but I’ve cleaned up a lot of stuff,” she said.
When Snodgrass received the letter from the hall of fame committee, the first thing she did was to text her son Adam Snodgrass to tell him to make sure he would be free on Friday Oct. 11.
When he asked what she’d be doing at homecoming, she let him know that she’d been chosen for the hall of fame.
Snodgrass will be joining her mother Marcella Howe, a teacher in the district for 50 years, on the hall of fame wall.
“That makes it extra special,” Snodgrass said.
Snodgrass worked for the school district for 39 years, moving up from kindergarten teacher’s aide in 1970. Along the way she added to her own education. Having started out as a class of one in a one-room school house taught by her mother, Snodgrass graduated from Creston High School in 1968 with 159 classmates. She attended Southwestern Community College and then received her bachelor’s with a major in elementary education and a minor in mathematics from University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.
Snodgrass’ first teaching job was at Franklin School, where she taught 5th and then 4th grade for 14 years. After the elementary schools consolidated, she taught 15 more years at Irving.
Along with teaching, Snodgrass held positions in the curriculum council. After Don Price, her principal and mentor, retired, Snodgrass was asked to fill the curriculum position, once again upgrading her education level this time to get a certification in administration.
That led to becoming principal at Jefferson Elementary, then Franklin and finally the Early Childhood Center.
“I really enjoyed working with kids,” Snodgrass said. “I’ve done a lot of things in my life that had that kid component in it at my work and away from work. Young people are a special thing for us. They’re the best thing we have in the world.”
Outside of working for the school district, Snodgrass has also been a force in the community, participating in and then organizing the Appalachia Service Project in Creston for the last 35 years. Snodgrass said next year is ASP’s 40th group in Creston.
“This opportunity opened a door to another world I didn’t know existed a day’s distance from my home,” Snodgrass said.
The Union County Historical village has also benefited from Snodgrass’ attention. She said she rearranges artifacts, paints walls and, ever the teacher, finds ways to educate the public about Union County’s past.
Snodgrass helped organize some of the events this summer for Creston’s sesquicentennial celebration.
“It was fulfilling to work at finding ways to celebrate and honor the history of Creston,” she said.
Another way Snodgrass gives back to the community is through Creston Area Food Pantry. She can be found there on Fridays, sorting food and getting things ready, and on Sundays handing out food to needy Crestonians. This year she has also been involved in the backpack program, sending food home with students over the weekend.
Snodgrass keeps a finger in the education world on the larger scale as president of the CCSD school board and in a smaller way as a reading buddy for the READS program, listening to first graders read each week.
Snodgrass said she was honored to be invited into the CCHS hall of fame. She was a part of the district when this tradition began and knows the benefit to both the school and the community.
“It points out to the community that there’s appreciation on the part of the school district for things people in the community do,” she said. “It’s a fine honor. I hope I’m worthy.”