Dean Middle School, named in honor of Berta Dean, was built in 1954 and opened in September 1955. Berta Dean came to Fairbanks in 1932 as one of three teachers of 84 pupils. She taught in the District for 25 years before retiring in 1957, at which time she had devoted 52 years of service to the teaching profession. Mrs. Dean began teaching at the age of 16 as one of two teachers in a two-story Waller school house--the year was 1902. She sincerely believed that the best in every child could be nurtured and developed through patience, love, and understanding. "Educational methods today are so much more wonderful than 25 to 50 years ago," she said upon her retirement. "Then we taught only the three Rs. Now, with such a broad curriculum, education as a whole is vitally interesting."

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