MRS. LOIS STEGEN by Vincent Migliazzo, with contributions by Terry Sue Aikens, Mike Giglia (’68) and Dave Lynn-Hill (’69)
Mrs. Stegen began her career teaching Special Education at Inglewood High. Early on, the administration saw her talent and skill in developing and forming specialized programs. She was selected as the first Girls’ Vice Principal for the new, yet to be developed, Morningside High School. It was in this position that she, along with the principal and select staff were responsible for planning the curriculum and forming the structure for the new school. The formation of the school was to be such that it would serve the youth and the community for many years to come. In between her many chores, she raised two fine sons, John and Kurt. In speaking with Lois, Dave Lynn-Hill (’69) learned she wanted to empower the students with a sense of involvement. She accomplished this in two ways: by developing “clubs” that focused around groups of students with shared interests; and by giving Student Council as broad autonomy as possible. Few are aware of the many nights she spent not only forming the school but, later, dealing with the change in demographics of the school and community. Those were difficult times but with Lois at the helm and the loyalty developed within the staff, the success of the programs became a reality. It is hard to describe the feeling of belonging, of loyalty, and the unity of purpose the staff had because of Lois’ leadership. Her refrain was, “I’m just so proud, so proud of the students, of the faculty, and of MHS.” Lois was selected to become Principal at Inglewood High. She was then selected to serve as Principal for the Adult Education Program. It was here again that her talent was evident by expanding the Adult program beyond expectations. Many community members received citizenship credentials, diplomas, and completed language classes, trade and job placement programs. When her husband retired she decided it was time for something different. Lois also retired but continued to serve the community in many ways. She and Kermit traveled the world over and over again, and she has slides of their travels. But most significant, she left a mark on the history of the City of Inglewood that very few can claim or duplicate. Lois T. Stegen is HISTORY!