Margaret Dunlavy

Special Honorary Achievement

Margaret was born in Tallmadge, Ohio on May 19, 1912. With four brothers, she was quite active. Her father died suddenly when she was ten and the family worked hard to stay together. Although money was scarce, when she finished school, Margaret was determined to attend Kent State University. She chose her second love, HPE, because it was affordable. Her first love, music, would be her avocation. She helped pay her own way by cleaning houses and waiting tables. College activities outside of classes included Women’s Athletic Association and being President of PE Honorary. She earned certifications to teach HPE, French and English.

Unable to get a teaching position due to the depression, her first jobs were social work and house cleaning, followed by teaching in Tallmadge, then in Pittsburgh, PA. No one had money for gym shoes, so she taught students to make their own from old inner tubes.

Margaret moved to Ravenna, married Chester Dunlavy, raised five children and taught elementary school and high school. In 1954, she initiated the first elementary physical education program and continued to grow the successful program. She taught track and field, ran eliminations and pioneered the first annual all-city elementary track meets. She promoted wellness and lifelong physical activity, encouraged independence, achievement and self-confidence for thousands of elementary students.

Margaret was a perpetual continuing education student in HPE and active in the American Association for Health, Physical Education, Ohio AHPE, NEA, OEA, NEOTA and REA. She was involved in Childhood Guidance Club (which started kindergarten in Ravenna), Fine Arts, Girl Scout leader (Margaret took her troops to Canada, New Orleans, Washington D.C. and Colorado), directed Camp Jesse Mae Fageol (Girl Scout Day Camp for Ravenna girls), and taught Red Cross swimming classes.

For fun, Margaret sang in the church choir, played the piano, traveled, family camped, square danced, crafted and stayed mentally and physically agile.

Margaret Ellen Acken Dunlavy proudly taught in Ravenna until she was 72 years of age.

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