Who's Who of Professional Women


Patricia Dryer

For the duration of her career as an educator, Patricia Rausch Dryer lived and worked in Mishawaka, Indiana. Before her retirement from the school system in 2003, she helped to shape the lives of countless students during her 35 years as an elementary school teacher. In honor of her dedication, she recently was listed in the coveted Marquis publications Who’s Who Top Educators and now Who’s Who of Professional Women.

As a first-generation American citizen, Ms. Dryer’s mother was born to Belgian immigrants, and her father came to the United States from Switzerland in the early 1900s. As a strong believer in equality, she attributes her success as an educator to her willingness and ability to listen to children. Often, students have no one else to turn to and lack an outlet for their thoughts and feelings. Thus, Ms. Dryer served on the crisis committee to provide a safe space for her students to vent and share their problems.

In preparation for her career as an educator, Ms. Dryer earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University. She went on to study at Indiana University South Bend, graduating in 1972 with a master’s degree. Among the notable moments throughout her career, Ms. Dryer was the first in her school corporation to be granted parental leave, paving the way for others in the future to spend invaluable time with their newborn children.

While living in Mishawaka, Ms. Dryer would regularly spend time with her son and husband in Cass County, Michigan, as her husband traveled there for work. After her retirement, she decided to make the county her family’s permanent home, where she became involved with the Underground Railroad Society of Cass County. Ms. Dryer’s neighbor asked if she was interested in assisting with a building they had recently purchased, which happened to be located on the historic Freedom Trail, previously belonging to a conductor who hid runaway enslaved persons on the third floor of his barn. Proudly serving as a docent for the Underground Railroad Society of Cass County, she seeks to bring previously untold history to light.


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