Ms. Lorraine Stange graduated from Ste. Genevieve High School in 1955 and from Southeast Missouri State University in 1959, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education degree. She began her teaching career in 1956 in Fredericktown, Missouri, teaching Social Studies, French, and English in grades 7-12; core curriculum in grades 7-9; and Adult Education. The following year, she returned to her alma mater, Ste. Genevieve High School, where she would remain an educator in the Ste. Genevieve R-II School District for the rest of her forty-one-year career as a teacher. In 1962, Ms. Stange earned her Master’s Degree in Education from Southeast Missouri State University.
Lorraine Stange taught history, social studies, English, and government at SGHS. She was instrumental in implementing many other educational programs at SGHS, most notably being the formation of the French Language Department. In addition, she taught the General Education Diploma program (GED), and tutored numerous Ste. Genevieve R-II students in need of continuing their education during particularly adverse times in their lives. In 1983, Ms. Stange chaired a committee that established a chapter of the National Junior Honor Society and served as the chapter’s faculty advisor. Lorraine Stange was one of SGHS’s most respected and beloved teachers during her career and became the district’s first teacher to receive priority parking in the district. Ms. Stange retired from teaching in 2000.
In addition to her illustrious career as an educator, Lorraine took an active role in many civic organizations. Throughout her life, she was in the forefront of promoting our French history and culture in Ste. Genevieve. Beginning in 1986, she served as director of the Bolduc Historic Properties, diligently supervising every aspect of promotion, maintenance, and daily operations of the historic site, and educating the thousands of visitors on the immense importance of this venerable property. She remained director of the Bolduc House until 2009. Also, Ms. Stange served as a member of The Foundation for the Restoration of Ste. Genevieve, The Landmarks Commission, the Beta Rho Society, The Ste. Genevieve Women’s Club (serving as Chaplain), Genevieve Women’s Circle, and the Ste. Genevieve High School Hall of Fame Committee since its inception. Ms. Stange also worked in close association with the members of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America
Lorraine Stange’s extraordinary and lifelong efforts in promoting the French language, culture, and history in Ste. Genevieve could, perhaps, be considered her greatest legacy. In 2005, the “Preserve America Presidential Award” was presented to Lorraine Stange, Estelle Powers, and Agnes Chouteau of the Missouri Chapter of The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America for their organization’s outstanding efforts in the preservation of the French culture and history in Ste. Genevieve by President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush in the Oval Office of the White House, which was followed by a reception in the White House Rose Garden. In 2006, Lorraine received the “Order of Academic Palms” award from the Honorable Jean-David Levitte, French ambassador to the United States. This award dates back to 1808 and was begun by Napoleon Bonaparte to recognize teachers. Ms. Stange was also a recipient of the Ste. Genevieve Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award.
Lorraine Stange remained a devoted and loyal member of the First Presbyterian Church of Ste. Genevieve throughout her life. She served as Ruling Elder for nine years, and chaired the Presbyterian Nominating Committee, the Worship Committee, the Presbyterian Women’s Committee, the Centennial Committee of the First Presbyterian Church, and served as Superintendent of Sunday School, participated in Vacation Bible Study, a member of the World Day of Prayer Committee, and served as an advisor to the Presbyterian Youth Group. In 2003, Ms. Stange earned her Lay Pastorship from Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery and presided over weddings, funerals, Sunday School, and delivering communion to shut-ins of the community.
Lorraine Stange’s stellar career in education and community service influenced countless youth and adults in her tireless and selfless career as a teacher, community leader, and historian in Ste. Genevieve. When asked to serve in her community, Lorraine was always willing to serve, and she did so with enthusiasm, diligence, and a love of her community of Ste. Genevieve that will be felt and appreciated for many generations to come. Merci, Madame Lorraine Stange.