Barbara Gardiner Hearon Scholarship
The Barbara Gardiner Hearon scholarship was established in memory of Barbara Ann Gardiner Hearon, a 1962 graduate of OCW. It is intended to assist a female junior or senior student majoring in education.
Hearon was born in Garden City, Kansas in 1940 to Mervin and Hallie Gardiner. She graduated from Garden City Schools and then attended OCW. She served in many leadership roles in college including student body president (1961-62) and was Miss OCW in her senior year. A member of Eche Sa, she participated in many activities including music groups, synchronized swimming and various student council offices. She was named to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities in 1961-62. She maintained her interest and connection with her alma mater throughout her life.
Hearon began her career as a high school home economics teacher in California at Shafter High School where she met her future husband. They were married in 1966 and enjoyed more than 36 years of marriage. They moved to Ventura County, California, in 1967 and she became a guidance counselor at Simi Valley High School where she worked for the next 21 years. Hearon served in many professional organizations during her career including the California Guidance and Counseling Association and the California Commission on Secondary School Evaluation. She participated in the evaluation of many high schools throughout the state. She obtained her master’s degree in home economics from California State University Northridge in 1971. She retired from education in 1989 after a year’s leave of absence spent traveling in Australia, New Zealand and other countries with her husband. The couple became avid travelers and visited every continent in the world except Antarctica.
After retirement, she devoted much of her time to volunteer activities developing a passion for the mission of her P.E.O. sisterhood and serving as a docent for the Ventura County Museum of History and Arts. She served three terms as president of her local P.E.O. chapter and a term as chair of the California State Committee for the P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund. Her ardor for the activities of the Ventura County Museum of History and Art resulted in her sharing museum programs with numerous school children and adult visitors to the museum.
“Throughout her retirement, Barbara gave maximum effort and time to helping people in every way possible. She truly believed in sharing her talents and exuberant spirit toward helping her fellow human beings. She was loved and admired by many, many people and had a multitude of friends.
“Barbara was the epitome of a lovely, caring woman with energy and sophistication in all the best connotations of those attributes. To know her was to love and admire her. She was intensely loyal and dedicated to both family and friends and was a role model with the highest standards for her students, children, friends, and family. If she were here, she would be wildly enthusiastic about the opportunity to help current and future USAO students in achieving their goals. She was very proud of the school and grateful for the opportunity to spend her college years at OCW. She often spoke of her experiences at the college and it always was a fulfilling time for her. Perhaps this scholarship will provide the opportunity for other students to have that same experience.”