Dorothy A. Dodds
Inducted Saturday, September 22, 2012
Dorothy Dodds graduated from Moorhead High School in 1941. It was her only year at Moorhead High since her family moved from Lisbon, N.D., to Moorhead in 1940. Dodds attended Moorhead State Teachers College during World War II, graduating with an elementary education degree in 1945. She earned her master’s degree in education from Colorado State University in 1948.
Dodds taught kindergarten at the Moorhead State Campus School from 1949 until the school closed in 1972. She taught in Minnesota State University Moorhead’s education department until her retirement in 1986. Dodds developed the first recognized early childhood education curriculum in Minnesota. In education and political circles she was a strong and vocal advocate for children, arguing effectively that children had a fundamental right to a safe, healthy and stimulating home and school environment. Dodds also was an early promoter of legal standards for caregivers and licensing requirements for daycare facilities.
Dodds was a founding member of Moorhead Healthy Community Initiative, an organization to provide after-school activities and build assets in youth. She was president of the Moorhead and Lake Agassiz Regional Library Boards, president of the Clay County Historical Society and active with American Association of University Women, First Presbyterian Church and the DFL party. While teaching, Dodds was involved in professional organizations, including American Association of University Professors, National Association for Education of Young Children, National Education Association, Minnesota Education Association and Minnesota Early Childhood Teacher Educators.
In 1998, Dodds received the Asset Builder Award from Moorhead Healthy Community Initiative. Dodds was recognized by MSUM with the Distinguished Alumni Award for professional achievement in 1999. MSUM also has established the endowed Dorothy Dodds Early Education Scholarship that is awarded each year to students majoring in elementary education. In the fall of 2011, the MSUM education department exhibited a display in her honor to recognize her lifetime contributions to the department.
A lifelong educator, Dodds continues to live in Moorhead, Minn., and feels fortunate that she was able to do what she really wanted to do in her life.