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WisconsinWomen: Celebrating Their Contributions


WisconsinWomen: Celebrating Their Contributions 1 Mary Clare Freeman Mary is retired from being a teacher in

Mary Clare Freeman

Mary is retired from being a teacher in the Wausau School District. As a teacher, she worked with students with Communicative Disorders and taught Speech and Language.

Well first of all what is your connection to Wisconsin, like what did you do for our community? My connection to this community goes way back as both of my parents were raised in this state. My mother was born in Madison and my father was a child when his parents moved his family to Madison. Both of them graduated from the University of Wisconsin and raised their family first in Rhinelander and then moved to Wausau when I was five years old.

What did you do for your community? When we moved to Wausau after my husband completed his education and training, I raised our five children and volunteered for the usual tasks such as, a Cub Scout leader and Stunt Night. When our youngest child was in first grade, I decided to go back to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point as it had been ten years since I earned my degree at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in Speech Correction and Child Development. I had only practiced taught after graduation as I was pregnant with our first child and no one would allow you to teach if you were pregnant. I took courses in Communicative Disorders as language therapy had become part of the therapy expected of a Speech and Language Therapist was expected to do in a school or hospital setting. I applied for a teaching position in the Wausau School District and taught for over 21 years in that system. If there was one part of teaching that I did not really enjoy, it was all of the paper work expected. As I taught 50 % of the time, I had time to volunteer for a lot of activities such as Children’s Theatre, Wausau Community Theatre, Wausau Symphony and Band, and Community Foundation of N.C.W., P.A.F., U. of Wisconsin Alumni, Festival of the Arts, Festival of Trees, Woodson Museum, L.& S Board of Visitors for the University of Wisconsin, Courthouse Square Committee, Wausau Conservatory of Music, North Central Conservancy Trust and others.

Has being a woman affected your career? Did it in anyway affect you getting your teaching degree? I don’t think being a woman affected my career or earning a teaching degree. A working woman married to a physician was not usual.

Do you think there are more equal employment opportunities today than there were years ago? Yes. It is not perfect but it is much improved as females are accepted in many more majors and they graduate with honors or many do and go on to practice in their fields with distinction.

Is there anything you wish you could have done differently in your career? Yes, I earned a masters in education but should have earned it is Communicative Disorders and gone on

'2010 D.C. Everest Area Schools Publications

Freeman, Mary Clare


WisconsinWomen: Celebrating

Their Contributions

to earn a doctorate.

Have you observed any discrimination against women? Were women treated differently when you were a kid? There is a subtle discrimination against women in business and professions but the change has been sweeping. When you compare our system to that in many parts of the world, we have a way to go but it is minimal. We should not expect to have special treatment but earn our way with good grades and positive

treatment but earn our way with good grades and positive Was it ever difficult to balance

Was it ever difficult to balance work and regular life? Yes, very hard! But I was married to a man who

It was just assumed that I

encouraged me and was helpful. And our children were good. They learned very young that they had to do their share. Our daughters were the oldest two and helped with the usual “female” jobs. That answer shows my vintage as our present day sons-in-law help with the “female” jobs.

Thank you so much.

Mary is married and has five children: Mary Jo, Linda, Timothy, Gergory, and Sean. She has 15 grandchildren and two great?grandchildren. In her free time she enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling.

Interviewed by Bailey Peter and Regan

Freeman, Mary Clare

'2010 D.C. Everest Area Schools Publications