Mary Ellen Ward was a loving, kind, caring teacher looking for the best in each student. Mr, Ward was the barber in Wilmer and was highly regarded, Mrs. Ward began her teaching career at Wilmer School in the period of
time when lady teachers could not be married in Alabama. After marrying, she taught in Mississippi until it was acceptable for women teachers to be married in Alabama. Returning to Alabama Mrs. Ward taught science, math and art at Semmes High, MGM and Faith Academy. One of her favorite sayings was," never say you can't, but I will try."
The Ward's home was always open for students to visit. Mr. and Mrs. Ward befriended a number of students taking on the role of mom and dad offering a safe home.
In 2011 the Mary Ellen Ward Art Guild began in Semmes. To choose a name the question was asked to those in attendance; was there someone in Semmes who influenced your love of art that we could honor? Mrs. Ward was remembered and unanimously chosen.