Passing: John Monroe

ITEEA is saddened to share the news of the passing of John Monroe, DTE - former president of the association (1995-1996). 

To view a full accounting of John's impact on ITEEA and Technology and Engineering Education, view his legacy article at: &source=generalSearch

According to John's close associate and ITEEA Past-President, Debra Shapiro, DTE:

"John Monroe was a true southern gentleman, humanitarian, professional, mentor, and friend to all who met him. He was an amazing educator who loved all aspects of being a teacher. He loved his kids and colleagues. I have never heard anyone say a bad word about him. I'm honored and humbled to have had him as a mentor, father figure, counselor, shoulder to cry on, friend, and a grandfather to my son (Ben calls him Grandpa John). He will be missed by all who knew him. 

A few facts from me and others I learned this weekend talking to colleagues and former students (his kids).


  • John was the first African American president of ITEA.
  • Many stated that John never forgot a name or a face. I know that I met him originally in Kansas City at the 1986 ITEEA Conference. I happened to jump on the elevator with him and a few others a year later at the Tulsa, Ok Conference. I recognized his face and mentioned I had met him before. His response was, “Yes, Debra Birkness, you did! I am John Monroe.” I was astounded!
  • His kids all commented on how he had influenced and changed many of their lives. They love him as much as he loved them.
  • Two of my students recalled a trip we made for a TSA Regional Officers Meeting. We had stopped at McDonalds on our way home from the meeting. The young ladies, John, and I walked up to the counter to place our orders. John insisted on paying for all four of our meals. The order was placed, John paid, and the girls blurted out, “Thank you for dinner mom and dad!”
  • Going into competitive events at TSA, John was always there to support my students. He would be at the door of their assigned room wishing them luck. They would respond with either, “Thank you Mr. Monroe!” or “Thank you 8 Ball!” and rub his head on their way through the door. John would smile and give his laugh that showed he was tickled by their response. There all so many that still use the name 8 Ball when talking about him. Always with a ton of love!

John pushed for diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout his career, but always believed standards should be held high and not lowered to make it easier for someone. They were to be educated so they would reach the standards. As ITEA Executive Director, Kendall Starkweather asked John if they should make things easier for women to become Technology Educators. John said no!"

John Monroe's Celebration of Life will take place Friday, June 9 at 12:00 noon at East End Baptist Church in Suffolk, Virginia.


View John's full obituary at: va/obituary/