In establishing this scholarship, Ed and Aleta Walker Smalley felt they can help, in some small way, a young aspiring student who wants to go to college. Aleta says that OCW made a great impact on her life and she knows that USAO has done the same for so many of its students.
Aleta says she has lived a simple life, but a very rewarding one because of the teachings of the excellent and dedicated instructors at OCW. She graduated in 1950 with a degree in speech and a life teaching certificate in English and speech. After graduation, she taught those subjects to juniors and seniors in Newkirk. “The students and community responded to me so enthusiastically that they convinced me to try something more exciting. Now I know that nothing is more exciting than teaching.”
Aleta left Newkirk and began touring the United States directing home talent shows for Empire Producing Company of Kansas City. Eventually she returned to Oklahoma and married her childhood sweetheart from Stroud. She returned to teaching English, speech and even a little French. Aleta retired from Stroud High School in 1987 after 26 years.
She attended summer school at the University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and took a group of her French students to Montreux, Switzerland where they studied French under the auspices of the University of Clermond-Ferrand in Vichy, France.
She was named Stroud Teacher of the Year and Lincoln County Teacher of the Year in 1978-79, co-emceed Stroud’s annual “Miss Brick-Throw Contest” with former State Representative Charlie Morgan from 1974-77 and served as the Oklahoma State Poppy chairman. Aleta served twice as president of the Stroud branch of the American Association of University Women, president of the Stroud Historic Neighborhood Association, chairman of the Stroud Centennial History book and chairman of the Stroud Veterans’ Monument Committee.
Aleta was a senior counselor at Girls’ State and district director of Young Careerist for B&PW Club. She was director of the First Baptist Church’s Vacation Bible School for five years and director of Sunday School for one year. She served on the USAO Alumni Association Board of Directors for 20 years – including a term as president from 1994-96.
She and Ed met at the historic Rock Cafe, later bought it from the original owner and were interviewed on “Good Morning America” in 1998. Ed was chosen as Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 1978 by the Stroud Chamber of Commerce. Aleta received the award in 1990. Back to Scholarship Page