Marilyn Lieske remembered as teacher, volunteer

Submitted photo Marilyn Lieske’s husband, Jack Lieske, looks at a memorial dedicated Wednesday to the long-term volunteer at Jefferson Elementary School.

NEW ULM — District 88 faculty at Jefferson Elementary School dedicated a memorial Wednesday to long-time volunteer Marilyn Jane Lieske.

Lieske died on May 10, 2017. Her 84th birthday would have been last Saturday.

Lieske will be remembered with a memorial bench at the entrance of Jefferson Elementary School and a planter that has a plaque as a reminder of her for her many years of dedication to the students and staff.

A retired teacher from Colorado, Lieske moved to New Ulm with her husband Jack over 15 years ago. She decided she missed helping in the schools. So she asked to volunteer at Jefferson Elementary to help students that needed something extra, remediation or enrichment.

She did everything for the school, from copying papers for teachers, to substitute-teaching when a teacher had an emergency during the day, to sharing with classes about the many vacations she enjoyed.

Her favorite part of being at Jefferson was working with the students. She loved their energy and curiosity. She could be heard saying many times, “I’m glad you let me come here to help. This place keeps me young.”

Students affectionately called her Mrs. L. They would ask when would it be their turn to read with Mrs. L. or “can Mrs. L help me with math?” She would stay after school to tutor students for free.

She was also the tour guide for the third-grade class trip to the Brown County Museum for Katie Gropper’s story of the Sioux Uprising. Second grade heard her share about Wanda Gag during their class field trip to the Wanda Gag House. She volunteered at both of these places along with many other volunteering opportunities.

“She was the Energizer Bunny,” said teacher Vickie Tambornino. “Many people wanted to bottle some of her ambition and love of life.”