Who's Who of Professional Women


Darlene Netzer

Inspired by the influence of her father, a voracious reader, Darlene Lambert Netzer was moved to pursue a career in education. Her family had a massive home library, and she became an early and frequent reader, encouraged by her parents. Often, Ms. Netzer and her father would sit together for hours, reading and talking. Her father and multiple aunts and uncles were self-educated. Many of them studied botany and published books on the subject, including her uncle, Stanley Thomas Jermyn, who wrote “The Flora of Essex,” a book now in the Library of Congress. Ms. Netzer’s father worked for the Huntington Library and taught her the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and outlook.

As a child, Ms. Netzer would often pretend to teach her brothers. She loved school, and after completing her public education, she decided to pursue increased knowledge. In 1967, she graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in history. Following this accomplishment, she secured her California Life Teaching Certification in English at Holy Names University in 1971. After more than 15 years of professional experience, she earned an Oregon Standard Teaching Certification in language and literacy education. She then attended Loyola University Maryland, where she obtained a Master of Education in Montessori education in 1998, concluding her formal studies.

Now retired, Ms. Netzer excelled as a secondary Montessori educator at the Franciscan Montessori Earth School in Portland, Oregon, where she also served as the chair of the English department. The Montessori method is an alternative educational protocol for children that aims to foster and develop their natural interests rather than adhere to formal teaching structures. Among her career achievements, Ms. Netzer is especially proud of designing and teaching a writing workshop at the Franciscan Montessori Earth School. Before she established the workshop, the school didn’t have any comparable courses or programs. She worked as an educator in all the school’s language arts courses because she believes strongly in the importance of developing writing skills with young students. Her workshop integrated with other subjects at the school. For example, if a student needed to write a research paper for a history class, Ms. Netzer would teach them how to write it and how to cite sources properly.

Prior to her role at the Franciscan Montessori Earth School, Ms. Netzer garnered exceptional experience as an English as a second language (better known as ESL) educator with Lower Columbia College, a public community college located in Longview, Washington. She began her career in Lake Oswego, Oregon, working as an educator before becoming a specialty class educator and coordinator for the Washington Teen Institute, where she taught specialty classes to educate students about drugs and mitigate drug use.

Ms. Netzer believes strongly in the importance of giving children the opportunity and support needed to learn. Throughout her career, she worked hard to instill self-confidence in her students, as she notes that it supports further learning. She enjoyed exploring different methods for maintaining student engagement and believes that educators must approach teaching with openness and love. Believing that children can never have too many caring adults in their lives, Ms. Netzer was proud to support and educate her students with compassion and empathy. Throughout her decades of experience as a professional educator, she always made sure she found something to like about each of her students. She is grateful that she was able to find joy in her work every day and values the friendships she made during her tenure. If she ever needed help or support, Ms. Netzer knew it was always available and would never be afraid to ask for it.


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