Former schoolteacher and principal Nancy Alana retired several years ago, but she just can’t seem to stay out of the classroom.
The Granbury School Board member loves to speak to fourth- and fifth-graders about her historic novel for children called “The Lost Treasure of Lincoln County.” She also talks to them about the treasure that so many people take for granted: America’s history.
“The reason I wrote it was (to instill) pride in America and patriotism. We need to start early,” said Alana, a former principal at Baccus Elementary.
Alana’s classroom presentations include information about the flag and about flag etiquette. Boys, she said, often don’t know that they are supposed to remove their caps when saluting the flag or saying the Pledge of Allegiance. By teaching about the flag and historic places, Alana hopes to instill a love of country and a love of history.
“We talk about the treasures in our community and our national treasures,” she said of her classroom visits. “I just want them to be good Americans, and I want that to be instilled in them.”
“The Lost Treasure of Lincoln County” is an adventure story about two Lincolnton, N.C., boys named Jonas and Dale, who find an old wooden box containing a treasure map. The boys hunt for the treasure with the help of a local historian. In the process they learn about the Siefert/Sifford family, who immigrated to America from Germany in 1753. The story of the boys’ adventure begins in 1958 and ends when they both return from the Vietnam War in the early 1970s.
Alana included a section at the back of the book called “Fact and Fiction” in which she details which parts of the story were made up and which parts are real. The basis of the tale is Alana’s ancestors. Her maiden name is Sifford.
Alana herself might be considered a local treasure by many who know her. In addition to her service on the school board, she has been involved in other endeavors to better the community. Among other volunteer efforts, she currently is assisting in the upcoming Hood County Child Health Summit, scheduled for March 7 at the Granbury Resort Conference Center. The event is hosted by Hood County for Healthy Children under the leadership of Cook Children’s Medical Center.
We figured the retired educator has doled out her share of tests over the years, so we quizzed her a bit further:
were you always the teacher’s pet?
“Probably not, but it wasn’t because I didn’t try.”
did the dog ever eat your homework?
What was your favorite school lunch?
“I usually took my lunch – a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips and a Hershey’s candy bar.”
what do you remember most about your favorite teacher?
“Miss Moore, my second-grade teacher, always had a smile on her face. We could tell that she had fun being a teacher.”