Danville woman was national leader in education

Published 7:12 am Saturday, October 10, 2020


Contributing writer

A Danville woman was recognized as a leader in local, state and national level education programs in the mid-1900s, according to articles in The Advocate-Messenger archives.

Email newsletter signup

Margaret Price Sheehan served as president of the Kentucky Congress of Parents and Teachers and local Parent Teachers Association president. She also was director of the women’s division of the Civil Defense in Kentucky in the 1960s.

She was appointed by Governor Ruby Baffin to study school conditions in the state and make recommendations to the General Assembly for their betterment.

In 1954, Sheehan was awarded the Kentucky Citation for distinguished service in the Field of Parents and Teacher Relationships during the 175th anniversary convocation of Transylvania College in Lexington.

She was one of 30 outstanding Kentuckians selected for the award for meritorious service to institutions and welfare groups in the state. Each nominee was chosen by social, civic and community organizations.

The citation was signed by Dr. Frank A. Rose, president of Transylvania, and former minister of First Christian Church in Danville.

The citation reads:

“Margaret Sheehan, it is with real pleasure that Transylvania College recognizes the excellent work to which you have dedicated yourself with such zeal.

“As president of Kentucky’s PTA, your responsibilities for the development and promotion of an ever-growing program are excessive and demanding.

“Your energy and enthusiasm must spring from a never-ending source of supply, and your imagination and foresight must dictate the extent of your labors, as you perceive the needs of our schools.

“Transylvania as a college, is ever dependent upon better students from better schools, and you and your co-workers strive to improve the programs of our elementary and secondary schools, so you are aiding cause of all education.”

In 1984, Margaret was recognized by the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association for her nearly 40 years of service to public education with “committees and commissions which had as their goal the improvement in education in the state.”

She served from 1964 to 1981 on the board of trustees of the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System. She was elected as president for two terms of the 60,000-member organization.

She also was a member of the state committee on Moral and Spiritual Values in Education; member and president of the Kentucky Women’s Joint Legislative Council; Coordinating committee for Handicapped children.

She was named as honorary member and chairman of the Teacher Retirement Committee of the state Delta Kappa Gamma chapter; and was a staff consultant of the Kentucky Council of Human Relations.

She was listed several times in “Who’s Who Among American Women.”


Born in Burgin

Margaret was born in 1895 in Burgin and had lived in Danville most of her life. She died Feb. 4, 1992, at the age of 97. She was a daughter of Thomas J. and Sallie Rainey Price.

Margaret and James G. Sheehan, an engineer for the Queen and Crescent Railway, were married Dec. 29, 1915, in Danville. They had two children, James and Ann.

The family attended the Presbyterian Church.

Margaret and her husband, James, are buried in Bellevue Cemetery.