“I love Shelby. I certainly love my kids.” Those were the first words spoken by Edith West Huston when she took the microphone as a special guest at an SHS class reunion in 2003. Born in Quaker City, Ohio in 1918, she graduated in 1936 from Belmont High School where she was a member of a championship basketball team. She then earned a bachelor’s degree at Baldwin-Wallace College where she majored in Latin and Greek with minors in English and physical education. At B-W she was named the outstanding senior woman. While there she played basketball all four years. She married Earl Huston in 1943 in Temple, Texas. Mrs. Huston returned to Belmont where she taught briefly while Earl completed his military service.
They then moved to Shiloh where she taught for 11 years. Then former Shelby Schools Superintendent Byron Carmean (a 2005 Hall of Distinction inductee) came calling and offered Mrs. Huston a position in Shelby. Over the next 19 years she taught English, first at Central Junior High and then at SHS where she also began teaching Latin. In 1968 she began teaching Latin exclusively. Always observant, she saw that many SHS students not involved in either sports or music wee finishing their high school years without having participated in extracurricular activities. She decided to create a new one – the Latin Club. It quickly grew to 160 members – the largest such club in Ohio. Club members won several competitions.
How did her students regard Mrs. Huston’s efforts on their behalf? In 1973 Latin students presented her with a trip to Rome as a “Thank you.” Says an alum, “Her broad smile, witty humor and love for kids made her the single most influential teacher I had the pleasure of knowing at SHS. Otherwise I probably would not have taken four years of Latin! A devout Christian, Mrs. Huston led by example, one that she was so well known for and loved by her students. She made a wonderful impression on me, so much that I can recall things from my very first day in her class as a freshman in 1974.”
After retiring from SHS in 1976, Mrs. Huston remained involved in church-related activities. She also co-founded and served as chairwoman of the Christian Business & Professional Women’s Council which drew some 200 members to monthly meetings in Mansfield. In her later years she moved to Sterling House, an assisted living facility in Mansfield. While there she served as a greeter and played piano. Until a month before passing away on March 21, 2010, she played piano for the Hanley Road Baptist Church.
Preceding her in death in 1998 was Earl, her husband of 55 years. Surviving are children Rod of Mansfield and Karen Russell Mott of Shelby. They both continued Mrs. Huston’s legacy as they enjoyed long teaching careers, Rod in Lexington and Karen in Plymouth.
Mrs. Huston’s Hall of Distinction nominator: Leslie Webb Zehner ’78. Her stand-in at the induction ceremony: Karen Huston Russell Mott. Her presenter: Marie DeVito Steele ’47.