Bernice M. Watson Papers   1946-1965, and undated
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History

Biography:

Bernice M. Watson was born August 16, 1901 in Breckenridge, Michigan. She attended Central Michigan University and earned a B.A. with a life Certificate in teaching. Also, she attended graduate level courses at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and the Misner School of the Spoken Word, Omaha, Nebraska. She taught from 1922 until she retired in 1968.

Mrs. Watson was elected as state representative from Flint, Michigan, in 1947. At that time she was widowed with a four-year-old son, Ronald. While in the Legislature, she was a member of the Central Michigan College of Education, Social Aid and Welfare, and the Public Heath committees. She also served as Chair of the State Library Committee. In 1947 she represented the state of Michigan at the National Convention of Women Legislators. Mrs. Watson resigned in 1947. She returned to teaching for financial reasons.

Then, Mrs. Watson taught social studies at Whittier Junior High School Governor Kim Sigler appointed her to a state commission to study educational policy in Michigan schools. In 1955 Mrs. Watson was appointed to the Michigan White House Conference on Education and served on the Advisory Committee of the Michigan Council for Better Schools. She was also elected Chair of Region X of the Michigan Education Association in 1956.

On June 14, 1965 she received the Medal of Honor from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge which read as follows: "Long after this medal is laid away and the language of this citation is forgotten, the values of this teacher’s work in behalf of the American Way of Life will live for the future through the lives and actions of boys and girls grown taller and older." (This information is from the collection.)