Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 1, 2014

Donald E. Young

Mar 17, 2014

The following life history was prepared by Don on the occasion of his receiving The 2013 Community Service Award - James Harlan Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. The last paragraph is added.

Donald E. Young was born October 8, 1928 in Keokuk, Iowa, the only child of William A. and Mary Hill Young. His father managed a lumber yard.

Donald attended elementary school in Argyle, Lee County, Iowa. His high school years were spent in East Peru High School, Madison County, Iowa, where he graduated with the class of 1946.

Donald was a 1950 graduate of Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, where he majored in history and minored in education. He received his masters degree in education from the University of Iowa in 1957.

Donald always loved history and remembered IWC History Professor William Herman as the “Best professor he ever had.” Though, it was Henry County School Superintendent Clarence E. Amen who mentored Donald for a future in education. Donald’s first teaching job was at Maple Grove #6, a country school in Denova, near Salem, where he remained for two years. Following were positions in Rome, Iowa, teaching 5th - 8th graders and Mount Pleasant Junior High, teaching 7th grade English and Math.

Harlan Elementary was Donald’s first position as principal; he also taught 5th and 6th graders. Donald was selected principal of Van Allen Elementary, when it opened in 1963. In 1966, he became Director of Curriculum, under Supt. Robert Formanek. From 1973 to 1993, Donald was principal of Pleasant Lawn School. During this time he was also principal of Manning and the preschool at IWC. Donald started the Talented/Gifted Program in the Mount Pleasant School system and in 1966 was chosen Director of the Head Start Program. He also established a library in each elementary school. In 1993, Donald retired from his career in education.

Community Involvement:

Presbyterian Church - Elder and member of Building Committee.

Rotary - 55 year member.

Mount Pleasant Public Library - Member of Library Board for 24 years, retiring in 2012.

Midwest Old Threshers - Selected Grand Marshall in 2007; North Village School volunteer and leads School Tours; Information Booth and Foundation Office volunteer, during the annual MOT Reunion.

Henry County Historic Preservation Commission - Founding Member; Chairman 1994-2010.

Mount Pleasant Historic Preservation Commission - Founding member; currently a member.

Henry County Heritage Trust - Board of Directors.

Harlan-Lincoln House - Executive Board Member.

Henry County Retired School Personnel - Member.

RSVP [Retired and Senior Volunteer Program] - Active volunteer.

1992 - Selected as Iowa’s Elementary School Administrator of the Year.

2005 - Selected as Mount Pleasant’s Citizen of the year.

Recently Don taught Henry County history classes for Southeastern Community College and was planning to do so again. People treasure the local history calendars he produced. Donald Young died unexpectedly Saturday night, March 15, 2014 at the Henry County Health Center. On his final day he spent some time at the former Saunders School now housing the Howard and Helen Hills Henry County Heritage Center. Remembrance arrangements are pending.

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