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Teacher Honored for Spending 50 Years 'In Jail'

Marian Olson has spent 50 years in the Wisconsin prison system by choice — she likes it there.

Olson is a teacher at Oakhill Correctional Institution, a minimum-security prison in Fitchburg, just south of Madison.

She marked her 50th anniversary of teaching on January 1. On February 23, her colleagues held a reception honoring her for her impressive record of service. She was the subject of several newspaper articles.

Olson, a member of WEAC Council #1, started teaching in 1948 at the Wisconsin School for Girls — at the site of what is now Oakhill.

Although she is “about 70” and about 5 feet 2 inches tall, she said the burly inmates don’t give her much trouble.

“I think you have to respect them,” Olson told the Wisconsin State Journal. “They know that you’re there to help them. but they’re also here to help themselves.”

Posted March 6, 1998


Education News