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Sue Truog: Serving kids for 34 years

October 3, 2014
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville News

When you think of a Champion in Education, perhaps you think of someone on a white charger, wielding a sword, out to vanquish anyone who might get in the way of a child's learning.

Well, for Sue Truog, there are days when what she accomplishes might seem nothing short of that.

As this year's Estherville Lincoln Central Foundation Champion in Education, Truog for 34 years has faithfully served Demoney Elementary students and teachers.

Article Photos

Sue Truog has been the secretary at Demoney Elementary for the past 34 years.
Photo by Michael Tidemann

Truog started as a reading aide, a spot she lovingly filled, until 1985 when she became an administrative assistant.

So what keeps her in a job that at times might seem at the center of a tornado of little ones?

"The kids and all the people," said Truog. "And I like to come to work every day."

Fact Box

ELC Banquet is Oct. 18

The ELC Foundation's 2014 Champion in Education Banquet will be held at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Estherville Golf Course. Hors d'oeuvres served throughout the evening. Presentation of the award will be at 7 p.m. There will be a live auction, games and raffle. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the ELC school offices, Fifth Street Salon, Hoyer Chiropractic and ILCC Trio Office.

Did she every dream she would receive such an award?

"It took me a little while to decide if I was going to do that," she said of publicly receiving the award. "I just like my job and I come to work every day. I just do what I do."

Every day, Truog keeps records for 600-plus students from pre-kindergarten through fourth grade. She's constantly taking phone calls for kids and giving them messages She also calls substitute teachers.

Some of the parents Truog sees now were students when she started.

"They say, 'My gosh, are you still here?'"

It goes beyond that, though.

Truog's husband, Dean, taught at Lincoln Central and later ELC. She now works with the grandkids of some of those people. "I have a good background of people," she acknowledges with a shrug and a laugh.

And changes aplenty she's seen. She started with a typewriter and no Internet or e-mail - all things we now take for granted. From mimeograph to Google docs is another way of putting it.

"I'm happy that I've been able to learn the new things and keep up," she said.

Since she's a veteran in many ways, that makes her the go-to person for a lot of people. So what's her advice to new teachers?

"Don't be afraid to ask questions," Truog said. "I'm here to help you."

As society changes, Truog sees a lot more demands - teachers, parents, kids even.

"There are a whole lot bigger needs than there used to be," she said. "The whole world has changed so therefore school changes too."

Fortunately, everyone at Demoney Elementary can count on Mrs. Truog to help pull things together.

Sue and Dean have a son, Ryan, who lives with his wife, Teresa, in Sioux Falls, S.D. with their two sons.

Son Jeremy and wife Tatum and their son and daughter live in Estherville.

Sue and Dean's daughter, Alyson, and her husband, Nick Gruhlke, live in Shakopee, Minn.

Dean continues to coach field events at ELC.



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