There are many examples of dedicated educators who have also served in political office. This is true of Jean McGlothlin Doerge, a high school business teacher who also served in the Louisiana House of Representatives.
Jean was born June 4, 1937, in Galbraith, a small town in Natchitoches Parish in Central Louisiana. After she graduated from Cloutierville High School, she enrolled in Northwestern State University (NSU) in Natchitoches. She completed the requirements for her bachelor’s degree in education in 1958. She also became a bride that year, having married fellow student Everett Doerge, also a teacher.
Jean accepted her first teaching assignment as a business teacher at Minden High School in Minden, Louisiana. The following year, she transferred to Arp Independent School in Arp, Texas, where she taught business courses. She also served as the adviser for the school’s newspaper, yearbook, and cheerleaders. At other schools in the following years, Jean taught girls’ physical education, coached the girls’ basketball team, and taught 9th and 10th grade Language Arts. Jean returned to Natchitoches for one year when her husband was hired to coach at Northwestern. At the end of the year, the couple moved back to Minden, where Jean returned to her post at Minden High as business teacher and adviser for the school’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). She spent the next 28 years teaching there, during which time she earned a master’s degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
As an educator, Jean was clearly an innovator. She was one of the first public school educators in Louisiana to implement computer technology and word processing instruction into her classes. Through the years, she served as instructor for summer classes and night courses at Northwest Technical College in Minden and nearby Homer. She also served on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) as a secondary representative. Doerge retired in 1992 after 34 years of teaching.
In 1998, the former teacher was elected to serve the unexpired term of her husband, State Representative Dr. Everett Doerge, who had passed away earlier that year. She was re-elected in 2007, and served until 2012, when term limits prevented her continued service. As a legislator, Jean supported many education issues at all levels.
For her distinguished career as an educator, Jean has earned numerous prestigious awards. She has been named to the NSU College of Business Hall of Distinction, and she was the recipient of the Golden Rose Award and the Golden Apple Award presented by the Epsilon State of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, which recognized her for noteworthy legislation impacting retired teachers’ benefits. She is a member of the FBLA Wall of Fame, and she been recognized by SACS for serving on their commission from 1988-92.
Jean Doerge: truly a chalkboard champion.