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How does a community say “thank you” to one of its own, long-time residents whose passion was to further children’s education and an awareness of the world?
Recently, the Los Alamos Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) initiated a memorial book fund to honor one of its own former members, Jean Nereson.
Nereson was an elementary school teacher in the Los Alamos County Public Schools for more than 50 years. She was respected and loved by her students, who number more than 1,800, because they knew she deeply cared about their well being.
Nereson passed away in 2012 at the age of 93.
Nereson arrived in Los Alamos in 1943, one of the first teachers hired for the Manhattan Project. She taught first at Central School, the only elementary school in town, until Mesa School was built in 1947.
After Mesa School was converted into the UNM-LA campus, she transferred to Barranca Mesa Elementary school, where she taught until retiring in 1995. She taught mainly third grade.
To make world cultures more tangible to her students, Nereson traveled extensively, collecting clothes, dolls, books, curios and local arts and crafts to show the children.
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