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Longtime Hudson teacher Carol Gilbert dies

Carol Gilbert taught in the Hudson School District for almost 30 years, most of that time as a reading specialist. She focused on helping students become independent learners, “a skill they can use for a lifetime.” (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Margaret A. Ontl)

Word reached Hudson earlier this week that longtime Hudson teacher Carol Gilbert died on April 11 at her home in Clintonville. She was 69.

Gilbert was surrounded by her husband Bill and the rest of her family at the time of her death from amyloidosis, a rare blood disorder she had battled for 13 years.

Gilbert was a teacher in the Hudson School District for close to 30 years. In a story in the Star-Observer in 2010, she said “I wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. I was one of those girls who held school in the backyard. We put on plays including Goldilocks in our garage and I taught Sunday school.”

After teaching in the Madison area in the late 1960s, Gilbert and Bill moved to North Hudson and she began her career with the Hudson School District. Over the years she worked under six principals and taught at Fourth Street and Houlton elementary schools before becoming a reading specialist at Hudson Middle School.

Gilbert was instrumental in introducing CRISS – Creating Independence through Student owned Strategies to the Hudson district as well as other districts in the area.

In that 2010 interview Gilbert described the program this way. “The goal is to teach students to become independent learners. This is a skill they can use for a lifetime. When we started it was just used in reading to help students sort out the important information. It is now used in every discipline.”

Her advice to parents as she closed out her career was simple. “Read, read, read to your children. Hold the young ones in your lap and have a family reading time. Turn off your cell phones and your television. Technology is great but we use it as a babysitter. A balanced dose is wonderful.”

Memorials can be made the Carol Gilbert Scholarship Fund which will award an annual scholarship to a Hudson High School graduate who benefited from the reading intervention program she helped develop and implement at Hudson Middle School. Some of her former students may be among the recipients.

Along with her husband, Gilbert is survived by her children, Tiffany Gilbert of North Hudson, Collin (Rachel) of North Branch, Minn., Derek (Shannon Nicolai) of North Hudson, and Megan (Patrick) Gilbert-Garvey of Madison and five grandchildren.

A visitation will be held at Bethel Lutheran Church, 920 Third St. from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, May 2, and on Saturday, May 3, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

A complete obituary can be found on page 4C of this week’s Star-Observer.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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