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The Suburbanite
  • Mae Packan receives much deserved award

  • Graduating from South High School in 1931 Mae Hinman was probably destined to become a teacher. She was born in Akron in April 1914 to two teachers Ralph and Ann Hinman. Her teaching career began in 1935 at Coventry High School. There are probably many Suburbanite readers that have fond memories of participating in Mae Packan's classes.

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  • Graduating from South High School in 1931 Mae Hinman was probably destined to become a teacher. She was born in Akron in April 1914 to two teachers Ralph and Ann Hinman. Her teaching career began in 1935 at Coventry High School. There are probably many Suburbanite readers that have fond memories of participating in Mae Packan's classes.
    Packan was presented with the Distinguished Education Alumnus Award at the 18th  Annual University of Akron Distinguished Alumni and Faculty awards dinner April 13, 2010 at the InfoCision Stadium.
    She began her career teaching College Preparatory American History and Political Science.  She retired from Coventry in 1978, with 43 years of service. To her, it was very important that she helped her students to be critical thinkers.
    The award came about from a project that Coventry graduate, Debra Manteghi was doing for "Women Leaders in Education,” a graduate class in Education at UA. She stated that as the notes from former students began to come in for her project, she saw that it was turning into more of a tribute to a teacher who had changed the lives of so many.
    Dr. Susan Clark of UA was impressed by the life-lasting effect Packan had on her students not only in the classroom but also outside the classroom and behind the scenes. Clark suggested the collection of letters be put into a nomination format for a special Distinguished Education Alumni Award to be awarded by the Dean, Dr. Mark Shermis. He commented that it was quite evident that this former teacher had impacted the lives of many and was certainly endeared by her former students over the years. He added that she was a worthy recipient of the award, not by her accolades, but by her exceptional character and inspiration as an educator.   
    ”My reason for nominating Mae Packan was that she was a most remarkable teacher to so many students, including myself,” said Manteghi. Packan's interest in the students did not end after they graduated. She continues those friendships today and attends the class reunions including the Coventry Annual All Class Reunion. She stays in touch through the Coventry Alumni Society and meets with students for lunch, dinner, or coffee to get caught up on their lives. Manteghi said Packan continues to provide encouragement and support and shares in the joys and sorrows of those past students.
    “She is still teaching in so many ways. Her insight and wisdom continues to encourage and direct students throughout their lives,” she said.
    Packan's acceptance speech was brief as she attributed her success as a teacher to an administration that was supportive, parents who taught their children respect and manners, and students who wanted to learn.  She stated that she challenged her students with college level work that would later prepare them for higher education and to think for themselves. 
    Page 2 of 2 - After receiving her BS ED from UA in 1935 and teaching a few years she married John Packan in 1939.  John was an attorney in private law practice. The couple lived in the Akron area and was married for 62 years until John died in 2001.
    Always learning, Packan received her MS ED in 1957 and also did post graduate work in American History and Political Science at Case Western Reserve. She is a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and also the Daughters of American Revolution. After retirement, Mae volunteered at Barberton Hospital from 2001 to 2004 as a Patient Advocate where she comforted many patients during their illness, recovery, and sometimes, eventual death.
    At 96, Packan lives in Clinton and has enjoyed traveling and visiting different cultures and countries. She has enjoyed taking the back roads to visit the less traveled areas much of the time. She has seen the more prominent places in America, Canada, Europe, Asia, Japan, Africa and India.
    The Packans were supporters of the arts holding memberships with the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Museum of Art.  Mae was also a member of the Akron Women's City Club as well and has been a longtime member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Akron where she attends regularly.
    “Her lifetime of teaching made a difference of a lifetime to those who had her as a teacher, colleague, family member, and friend,” Manteghi stated.