Class of 1922
Constance Kingan Crossman
Taught in Royal Oak Schools from 1929-1967, at the high school for 34 years
One of the founders of Royal Oak Schools Credit Union
Author of Royal Oak – Our Living Legend, 1787-1940, a narrative history of the community
One of twelve teachers chosen in 1937 to represent the United States in England
Constance Kingan Crossman was a graduate of Royal Oak High who returned to teach in the district. Connie, as she was known, graduated in 1922 after distinguishing herself as an honor student, vice-president of her class and editor of both the school newspaper and the OAK yearbook.
After graduating from Alma College in 1926, Constance Kingan Crossman entered the teaching profession. Three years later she returned to Royal Oak to teach in the junior high school. She later moved to the high school where she taught social studies for 34 year. She was regarded by her colleagues as a "teacher's teacher." Connie organized talent shows during the depression to raise money for needy children, and scheduled pot luck meals to keep staff morale high during the hard times. In the school year of 1937-38 she was one of twelve chosen to be an exchange teacher and went to England. Connie earned the Best Teacher in America Award in 1950
Before collective bargaining and master contracts existed for teachers Connie Crossman provided a voice of reason as an officer of the Royal Oak Teacher Club. She was also one of the founders of the Royal Oak Schools Credit Union when local banks closed their doors in 1934. She was an advocate of teacher rights at both the state and local level, and played an instrumental part in the passage of a tenure law for teachers.
Her creative talents came out in her famous history of religion course where she taught understanding and tolerance. After her retirement in 1967, Connie Crossman wrote and published a history of the Royal Oak community. It contained documented history of the years before she was born and many first hand accounts of events and people she experienced during her lifetime. The spirit of Connie Crossman was captured by the superintendent of schools in Royal Oak when he wrote that the concern she expressed for the troubles of others was a mark of warmth beyond professionalism. She always gave people a lift. Mrs. Crossman was inducted into the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame in 1997.