Today we remember Esther Rouainzoin. Born in 1850, Esther was a loving Christian and an educator. She surrounded herself with family in Zanesville, until arriving at the Athens Psychiatric Hospital in 1881. She spent the remainder of her life in the hospital until passing away in 1910.
While her diagnosis is unknown, Esther and many others were often misunderstood and poorly diagnosed. This usually meant spending years in a mental hospital for symptoms sometimes as simple as having premenstrual syndrome. While we look back on Esther’s life, we can also consider ourselves privileged for the understanding we have gained.
I ask now that you think back on your years in school. Picture one of your teachers who made a special impact. Esther was that special teacher for many students during her life. Philosopher Sidney Hook states, “Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system.” Let us remember Esther for her heart. We appreciate her wisdom that shaped the lives before us. May Esther have a peaceful rest.