ECS Alumni Association


Sharon Wood Greenfield 1978 - 1981 Home Economics
  Sharon now lives in Colonie, New York and teaches Special Education in a large city school district.
Robert McFerran January 16, 1978 - June 1979 5th grade
  Robert grew up in Edwards and now lives in Moriah Center NY.
James D. Wagner 1958-1963 History, Social Sciences Teacher, Class Advisor 1960
  PERTH, Western Australia — Dr. James Durrell Wagner, beloved husband of Gülten, much loved father of Suzan, esteemed father-in-law of Peter and adored grandfather of Jaslyn and Ella, peacefully passed away on April 1, 2012, in Perth, Western Australia.

James, affectionately known as Jim, was a native of Danville, PA., and the only child of John W. Wagner and Harriet E. Wagner. His father John operated a well established and respected auto and body works shop in a converted silk mill on 1100 Bloom Road, Danville, from 1935 until his retirement in the late 1960s. Jim’s mother Harriet was descendant of two distinguished families: Eckman and Shipman in Danville and Sunbury areas. From mother’s side he was related to the Civil War hero Colonel Charles W. Eckman.

Jim graduated from Danville High School in 1950 and later obtained his bachelor’s (1954) and master’s (1958) degrees at Bucknell University where his grandmother Lizzy Shipman attended the women’s college, then called, the Female Institute in 1887. After graduating from Bucknell University, Jim briefly worked as a code breaker at the National Security Agency in Washington D.C., as part of his military service during the Korean War.

In 1958, Jim took a position, as history teacher at Edwards Central School, N.Y. Jim established a Chapter of the American Field Service (AFS), a leading international high school student exchange program, at the Edwards Central School. Jim, as the president of the AFS’s Edwards Chapter, has enabled many students from Edwards Central School to study abroad as well as has provided an opportunity to many Edwards families to host international students. He also organized an outstandingly successful international world’s fair for Edwards Central School, N.Y. in 1962 involving large community participation. Jim was a brilliant teacher who kept in touch with his ex-students throughout his life.

During summer months, Jim continued to take courses at Bucknell University where he met his future wife Gülten, a Fulbright student from Turkey at Bucknell University’s Foreign Institute orientation program. For two summers Jim and Gülten worked at Bucknell as the head and as the assistant counselors.

In 1965, Jim took a position with the United States Aid (USAID) program in Nigeria to teach at the University of Ibadan’s International School — moving there with his wife and baby daughter Suzan. After a stint of nine years’ teaching in Ibadan, Nigeria, Jim returned to Connecticut University with his family to start his PhD studies in educational administration. He wrote the first seminal doctorate on the International Baccalaureate which has now became a well-merited global international elementary and secondary school curricula program.

In 1980, Jim relocated to Perth, Australia, with his family to teach management at the Edith Cowan University until his retirement in 2001.

Jim was a humanist, a visionary and a creative genius who has always considered the welfare of others first. He has lived by the motto of “Non sibi sed orbi” — ‘not for self but for the whole world’ which has been attributed to his maternal Shipment family. All his life Jim set an example by his cheerfulness and friendliness. He was held in esteem by his community and friends. Jim will be sadly missed by family and friends around the world.

He is survived by his wife Gülten Wagner; their daughter, Suzan Debra Wagner, and two granddaughters, Jaslyn Belle and Ella Wagner-Venn, all residents of Perth, Western Australia.  

Jim Wagner had been a Renaissance man and a humanist who was concerned with the interests and welfare of human beings. He had been a supporter and collector of arts - including African masks, Australian paintings and a lover of classic cars!


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