Ruth Hinson was a soft spoken, very mild southern lady who impacted her students as much outside the classroom as she did while they were in her class.
Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts remembers her well, “I gained valuable, employable job skills from taking the notorious typing class taught by Mrs. Speed and Mrs. Hinson. At the time I thought, what on earth am I taking this class for; but late in life, I thanked those two ladies from the bottom of my heart for their time and patience.”
Beverly Bruner Jaeger never had Mrs. Hinson as a teacher but knew her from a different standpoint, “She and my mom were in a card club for years playing canasta. When she moved to a retirement home, JoBeth told me she organized a card club there.”
No one could know Mrs. Hinson better than a child she raised. JoBeth Hinson Bird shared memories of her mom, “One thing I can say for my mother, Ruth Hinson, is that she was born to be a teacher. She had all the qualities that any parent would want their child to have for their teacher. She was knowledgeable about her subjects, (back then it was called Bookkeeping) and (back then it was called Typing). Now those subjects would be called Accounting and Keyboarding. She was kind hearted, always willing to listen, believed that students deserved another chance, and was a hard worker. She respected the administration and always enjoyed the people she worked with on a daily basis. My mom was one of three children, all girls, born to Alfred B. and Ida G. Barfield, of Graceville, Florida. My grandparents always encouraged their children to go to school, with my grandfather driving students to school on a regular basis. He was not a bus driver, but instead would load the kids up in his wagon and take them to the local school house. She and one of her sisters became school teachers. My mom was always proud to tell people that she was a graduate of Florida State College for Women (now known as FSU). I recall, when I was a young child, that my mom would go and chaperone while the juniors were building what they hoped would be the winning float for the homecoming parade. She would come home and show my sister, Sandy and I how to make flowers out of tissue paper and even out of dinner napkins. She always wondered how many would fly away as the float made its trek to the parade route. She would work tirelessly on the Junior Review and was the class sponsor for many of those 38 years at Marianna High School. I never heard my mom complain or grumble about having to put in long hours after school. She always felt that all that “extra stuff” was what made the difference in looking back on one’s high school career with fondness. She felt that an important skill was learned when students would work together for a common goal. I had the unique experience of having my mom as a teacher, myself. She taught me Bookkeeping and Typing. She was, in my opinion, excellent in explaining the importance of a good ledger, with a balance sheet of assets equaling liabilities. I have used those skills many years over my personal life and career. Probably, of all my classes in high school, the one that I have depended on the most has been typing. I recall many people have told me how thankful they were that they took typing from my mom. Back then, we only had about 4 IBM electric typewriters and the remainder were manual (with the leaver to make the paper carriage return). So as to be fair to all the students, she used a method of rotation each Monday as we all moved up to the typewriter in front of us. This way, you were bound to get to the “newest and best” electric typewriter within weeks.
My mom gave both my sister and I that hunger to help others as we each became school teachers - both retiring with over 30 years each in public education. My mom was the kind of teacher that always made each student feel special and important, including me.”
Linda Enfinger Massengill had the uniqueness following in her mom’s (Gloria Enfinger) footsteps when she had Mrs. Hinson, “I had Mrs. Hinson for Typing II and Business English. She and Catherine Dozier influenced me to the point I went on to college and got a degree in Business Education. It was amazing to me to know that she had taught my mother at MHS as well.”
I, too, had the pleasure of having Mrs. Hinson for Typing I. To this day, I am grateful for the experience of being in her classroom. She had more patience than anyone I had ever known. No matter the disruption or the cause (usually pranks), she never raised her voice, never lost control of her classroom. Mrs. Hinson had a kind word for the most unruly student as well as the most well-mannered one. She greeting everyone at the door with a smile and a kind word and they left the same way.
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