In the words of Albert Einstein, "The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it." And so it has been with hundreds of public school teachers who discovered that, when they criticized their school system, they experienced retaliation in the form of scurrilous attacks and physical threats.
It happened to author Maggi Hall, beginning with a simple letter to the editor of her local newspaper. Little did Hall realize that her complaints criticizing her school district's inappropriate expenditure of funds would result in harassment, intimidation, and termination. The covert attempt to punish her included the use of public funds to follow and photograph her--a well-planned conspiracy that included school board members and administrators, a minister, strangers, supposed friends, and fellow teachers.
AFFIRMED: Teachers as Citizens illustrates Hall's struggle to keep tax money where it belongs--for the education of our children.
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About the Author
When they moved to Marion SC Hall and her husband, Ron, restored a 1880's home. Next to the house was an abandoned 1886 two-story building listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the longest operating public school in SC. Maggi took a leave of absence from teaching to direct restoration, later receiving an award from the SC State Archives. The following year she received a study grant on museum management from the Smithsonian which enabled her to establish the county's first museum in the restored schoolhouse. She served six years as director collecting and cataloguing thousands of artifacts, developing programs, and heading the SC Rural Art's Program for the county.
Always involved in the environmental movement she volunteered to author a conservation organization's magazine. For five years she fought development of an interstate connector across thousands of acres of wetlands and was featured in a national documentary, "When A Tree Falls." She and Ron led a successful eight year campaign to preserve the Little Pee Dee River, later televised on the PBS series "Conserving America: The Rivers." Hall also established the second environmental education center in SC, receiving several national and state awards for her work.
After returning home to Florida Hall and her husband restored their 1880 home in St. Augustine and a half dozen 1920 tourist cabins. Returning to where they met at Stetson University in DeLand, Ron became chair of the philosophy department and Hall established West Volusia Properties, a real estate company dedicated to preserving the city's historic architecture. She initiated a downtown revitalization project of over 80 derelict buildings. For her efforts she received numerous state and local awards.
Hall has authored three cookbooks including Flavors of St. Augustine: An Historic Cookbook, three history books, and AFFIRMED.
The Hall's maintain their 1927 Spanish Revival house with love, laughter, and labor. They have two daughters, nine grandchildren, and five dogs.