Norma Snyder Ransom, one of five sisters, grew up in the Dry Run area of Johnson County. She knew from a young age that she wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of children. Throughout her life, Ransom has indeed touched the hearts of Johnson County's youth, from the youngest of babies all the way up to high school seniors.
I always wanted to be a home economics teacher, said Ransom. She became interested in 4-H as a child, an outlet for children in agricultural areas. She credits her sister, Fran Kitchell, along with Frances Smith, one of her home economic teachers, as two people in her life who inspired her to follow her dreams. She graduated from Johnson County High School and attended the University of Tennessee, receiving her degree in Home Economics. Her first job in 1960 landed her in Madisonville, Tennessee, where she met her husband, Frank. They lived in several states as Frank pursued his career in the savings and loan banking business. Coming back home to Johnson County, Ransom soon found herself back in the classroom.
According to Ransom, she spent approximately 16 years working in the local school system, teaching health science, family living and home economic classes. Students learned a variety of skills throughout the year, including cooking, sewing, family life, childcare and business living. She also taught food management, food production and food services such as catering and serving food to the public. She has received compliments from many of her previous students as they relayed to her that Family Life was one of the best classes they had ever taken.
Ransom explained that one day she received a call asking her to help out in a very different classroom setting. She spent one year working with students who were headed on a fast road to becoming high school dropouts. One of her challenges with this group was that each of the students was on very different academic levels coming into her classroom. Her job was to teach them history, English and math. I worked myself to death trying to meet each child's needs, said Ransom.
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