1972: Drs. Dan & Marjorie Mengedoht

 Welcome to the first of our guest blogs, chronicling the impact Trident Academy has had on the lives of students with learning differences and their families since the school’s creation in 1972. We hope you enjoy these reminiscences, which will be posted throughout the coming year, and culminating in February 2017.
     The following notes came from an interview with Dr. Marjory Mengedoht, along with her husband, Dr. Dan Mengedoht, by Betsy Fanning, our Head of School. We appreciate Dr. Marjorie Mengedoht (eminent pediatrician, past parent, and one of the school’s founders) providing the content for our inaugural blog.

Last Fall, I had the pleasure of having lunch with Dr. Dan and Dr. Marjory Mengedoht. The Drs. Mengedoht enjoyed a successful pediatric practice for many years in Charleston and are now enjoying retired life at Bishop Gadsden on James Island. Dr. Marji, one of the founders of Trident Academy, credits Dr. Dan with picking up the extra work from their practice allowing her more time to devote to Trident Academy. We talked of many things, but mostly about how proud they are of their children and grandchildren.

Two of their children attended Trident back when we were in trailers next to the cemetery. Dr. Dan expressed how grateful he was for the education their daughter received as a student. He said he was sure that her education at Trident was the reason for her success in life. Dr. Marji talked about how in the early days of the school, she spent many days and nights speaking at PTA meetings, rotary meetings, Elks Clubs, civic clubs and anywhere else she was invited talking about dyslexia and how a different form of teaching was necessary for students to learn. She said that in those days no one had heard of dyslexia and many people had written off students who struggled as either lazy or mentally inferior. Because of her many nights away, Dr. Dan remarked that he learned how to be a better father as many of the parenting duties fell to him! She was so successful at spreading the word around the state that her pediatric practice blossomed to the point that she had to resign from the Trident board in 1978.

In retirement Dr. Dan spends time in the woodworking shop making toys and Dr. Marji is the Chief Librarian at Bishop Gadsden. The library is being moved to accommodate more residential space and current students at Trident Academy are poised to help move books when the new shelves are ready!

We are forever in debt to the vision and passion that Dr. Marji, along with others in our community, brought to the table back in 1972 as they founded Trident Ungraded Academy, Inc. As we begin an 13 month prelude to our 45th Anniversary, we are humbled by the hard work and perseverance shown by our founders. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We are deeply grateful for your foresight, dedication and persistence.

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