The Memorial to Fallen Educators is taking a visible step forward.
Excavation work began recently, and National Teachers Hall of Fame Director Carol Strickland says this is preparation for the memorial itself and a walkway.
Strickland says the memorial, designed to honor teachers and education staffers killed while protecting children from various forms of harm, already has a lengthy list.
Part of the plan is to have touch-screen kiosks on site so people can learn more about the educators killed.
Strickland says this currently honors pre-K-12 education, but plans have been discussed to honor higher education with its own book of names. Strickland says the memorial concept has expanded dramatically over time.
Plans began developing for the memorial almost immediately after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut in December 2012 and the fatal shooting of an Alabama bus driver in early 2013.
The memorial is under construction just west of Emporia State's one-room schoolhouse. Work should be completed June 1, just a couple weeks before the annual induction ceremonies -- which will include a formal dedication of the memorial. Meanwhile, fundraising continues and is approaching $100,000 with a goal of $300,000 to complete the memorial plaza.
For information, call the Hall of Fame at 341-5660 or go online to www.nthf.org.