Tara Dyer has been a lifelong resident of Marion. While she has many significant contributions to our community, she is largely known for her time as an educator at Marion City Schools for 35 years.
Dyer is a graduate of Marion City Schools. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Science degree from Defiance College in elementary education. Following her undergraduate program, Dyer earned a Master of Arts degree from The Ohio State University.
Dyer attributes her involvement to some amazing women.
“For me, it was the presence of strong role models in my life; from my grandmother, Beulah Fair, and my mother, Mary Emma McDuffie, to community icons Mother Earlean Baskin Hatch, Mary Houston, and Tippie Allen, each blessing me with their wisdom and grace,” said Dyer. “These powerful women poured into my spirit. It is this inherited ‘spirit’ that drives me and it’s one that I pray is transmitted to my granddaughters.”
Dyer’s inspiration to give to the community continues now.
“Each day brings a new challenge,” Dyer said. “There is always some positive way that I can contribute to making my city shine and flourish. Whether it’s the opportunity to volunteer my services to facilitate ongoing projects and organizations or to participate in activities that involve me personally, God continues to guide me to do things in Marion.”
Dyer believes it’s important for people to be active and involved members of their community.
“When people say to me, ‘You’re always so busy!’ I take that as a compliment,” said Dyer. “I believe it is our duty as citizens to be community-minded.”
Dyer is driven by a spirit of volunteerism. She works to improve the quality of life for the citizens in her community. She is passionate about homelessness and housing and is currently working on the “Nia House,” an outreach facility for homeless youth.
Dyer also loves seeking, collaborating in, and writing grants to fund humanitarian efforts.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth,” a quote from Muhammad Ali Dyer uses to describe her drive.
Dyer taught elementary grades from third to fifth grade. She also worked in Marion City Schools childcare program, providing childcare for teen parents while they attended classes. She is currently the mentoring supervisor with Marion Mentors at Grant Middle School.
Additional involvement in the community for Dyer includes the Black Heritage Council of Marion County, where she serves as treasurer; The Peace and Freedom Committee; The Marion Minority Commission, where she helped advocate to change a street name to Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue; Turning Point Board from 2018-2021; Black Business Council of Marion; COVID Defense Team in Marion; Community Collaborative; Marion City Literacy Team; a nominee for the Athena Award; Women’s Business Council; Ohio Democratic Club, where she serves as Vice Chair; Democratic Central Committee Representative; Housing Coalition of Marion; Continuum of Care in 2019; Healthy Food Access Team; Marion Ohio Bicentennial Planning Committee in 2020; Marion Voices; Leadership Marion graduate; Drug-Free Marion; Alzheimer’s Association volunteer; surrogate volunteer with the Pleasant School District; MTC Perkins Stakeholders Member in 2019; “Umoja: Blight to Beauty” project; and the Marion Microfarm project. Dyer has also run for office and is a 2021 MarionMade! honoree.
“I don’t participate in this community for fame or glory, but I am truly honored to be recognized by MarionMade! and would like to thank God, my nominator, and the committee for this award,” Dyer says of her recent recognition.
Dyer shares that a Kwanzaa principle describes her commitment and belief: “To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together, is called ‘Ujima.’”