BHSU alumna visits Dr. Jackson, shares Spearfish memories

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, April 28, 2015/Categories: 2015









           Zola Crago, left, met with Black Hills State University President Tom Jackson, Jr. on Wednesday. She earned her teaching degree from Black Hills Teachers College and taught elementary music in Belle Fourche for 18 years. Crago and Jackson discussed Spearfish and Crago&rsquos career as a teacher during the visit.




Zola Crago, a 1963 graduate of Black Hills State University, met with BHSU President Tom Jackson, Jr. recently, reminiscing fondly of her time in Spearfish and at BHSU.

Jackson and Crago spent the afternoon discussing BHSU, Spearfish and Crago&rsquos career as an elementary music teacher.

"It&rsquos not often, but it&rsquos very special, when we have someone that has the history Zola has and is willing to share it," Jackson said. "That is very valuable to us."

Crago knows the history of Spearfish. She moved her with her family when she was 15 and earned a degree in education from Black Hills Teachers College in 1963. She taught in Belle Fourche for 18 years. Crago then moved to California where she taught at a private school before returning to the Black Hills.

"Spearfish had a population of only around 3,000 then," Crago said. "The people here are just so friendly."

Of the Presidents she&rsquos met over the years, Crago said she especially enjoyed meeting Dr. Russell E. Jonas who served as president from 1942 to 1967. Jonas was president while Crago was enrolled in BHTC.

Crago also recalls E.C. Woodburn, the second BHSU president and predecessor to Jonas. After his retirement from the presidency, Woodburn continued to teach at BH and Crago was one of his students. Woodburn was very meticulous as a teacher, she said.

Jackson and Crago talked about her days teaching music. Crago said she taught grades first through six and often had nearly 700 students at a time in Belle Fourche. And she prided herself in remembering every one of their names.

Crago still comes to campus occasionally, usually to attend events at Clare &amp Josef Meier Hall, she said.

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