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Governor Cooper Honors African American Education Leaders During Black History Month PDF Print E-mail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 12 February 2020 09:01
Governor Roy Cooper  African American education leaders from across the state for their many accomplishments that have helped move North Carolina forward and left a positive impact on students. 


“We recognize and celebrate North Carolina’s African American leaders in education, and I am grateful for their contributions to our state,” said Gov. Cooper. “Their leadership is particularly important right now as we work to improve diversity in the teaching profession to help our students succeed.” 
Earlier this month, Governor Cooper proclaimed February as Black History Month in North Carolina. 


The s event was hosted by the N.C. African American Heritage Commission and the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Attendees included Susi H. Hamilton, Secretary, N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; Dr. Valerie Ann Johnson, Chair, N.C. African American Heritage Commission; and Tracey Burns, Asst. Secretary for Diversity and Cultural Inclusion, DNCR.


 In December of 2019, Governor Cooper announced Executive Order No. 113, which established a Task Force focused on equity and inclusion in education. At the DRIVE Summit: Developing a Representative and Inclusive Vision for Education, Governor Cooper highlighted the importance of having a diverse teacher workforce and the positive impacts on students’ performance in the classroom. To learn more about the Task Force, click HERE. 


Honorees at the event included: 
Dr. Carolyn Anderson – First full-time African American faculty member at Appalachian State University
Dr. Robert "Bob" Bridges – First black Superintendent of Wake County
Dr. Valerie Bridges – First woman Superintendent of Edgecombe County Schools 
Wanda Kay Brown – Director of C. G. O’Kelley Library at Winston-Salem State University and current president of the American Library Association
Melody Chalmers – 2016 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year
James "Jimmy" Clark – First black Superintendent of Halifax County
Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole – Educator, anthropologist, and historian; president of Bennett College 2002-2007
Hon. Frances Cummings – Former teacher, public school administrator, North Carolina legislator, NCAE Associate Executive Director and President
Everlene Davis – Nationally certified educator with over 60 years of teaching experience in Columbus County
Dr. Dudley Flood – Statewide education leader and K-12 educator, coach, and principal
James E. Ford – 2014 - 2015 North Carolina Teacher of the Year, member of the N.C. State Board of Education, Executive Director of the Center for Racial Equity in Education, Carnegie Fellow and 2014 National Alliance of Black Educator’s Teacher of the Year
Bernard Fuller – 2016-2017 recipient of the National Association of Special Education Teachers Outstanding Special Education Teacher Award
Angela Pringle Hairston – First black Superintendent of Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Schools
Guy Hill – Long-time, award-winning Harnett County educator, former President of the NC English Teachers Association
Naomi Geraldine "Gerry" House – First female black superintendent in North Carolina 
September Krueger – Award-winning artist based in Wilmington; heads the art department at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville
Hortense McClinton – First African American faculty member at UNC and a pioneering social worker 
Dr. Steve M. Lassiter, Jr. – 2015 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year and 2015 National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals
Dr. Constance A. Lindsay – Research Associate at the Urban Institute and Assistant Professor at UNC – Chapel Hill 
Alfred M. Mays – Program Officer for the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, focusing on science education and diversity in science 
Willis McLeod – First black Superintendent of Northampton County
Dr. Freddie Parker – Professor of History at NCCU for over 40 years; established the NCCU Public History program in 2007 
Turquoise Parker – Third-generation, third grade teacher and strong advocate for student and teacher rights
Willie Peele – Former Martin County Schools Superintendent; advocate for juvenile crime prevention 
Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin – 2019 recipient of the NCASCD Dr. Frances Jones Trailblazer award; Executive Director of NCASCD for 21 years; former Deputy State Superintendent 
Dr. Randolph Sessoms – First black Superintendent for Wilson County Schools
Antoine Sharpe – First African American man to be recognized as the Dept. of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Teacher of the Year
Julius Walker – Retired Superintendent of Washington County Schools; member Washington County Board of Commissioners
Dr. Vanessa Siddle Walker – Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of African American and Educational Studies at Emory University 
Tabari Wallace – Principal in Craven County; State Board of Education; 2018 NC Principal of the Year
Lisa Williams – 2016 Fort Bragg District DoDEA Teacher of the Year 
Oliver Holley – Superintendent of Tyrrell County Schools; serves on the North Carolina Teacher and State Employee Retirement Commission Board of Trustees 
Dr. Shanita Wooten – the first black, first female, and youngest superintendent, Robeson County Schools
Dr. Betty Howell Gray – Founded the North Carolina affiliate of the National Association of Black School Educators 
Bill McNeal – Superintendent of Wake County Public Schools from 2000 – 2006; served as the executive director of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators
Dr. Maya Angelou – Renowned educator, activist, poet, author, film director, singer, and dancer 
Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown – Prominent educator, advocate for social justice, speaker, author, and suffragist. Founded Palmer Memorial Institute, an elite boarding school for African Americans in Sedalia, North Carolina, and served as its first President from 1902-1952. 
Dr. Anna Julia Haywood Cooper – 19th century educator, author, activist, speaker, sociologist, scholar, and Black feminist; first African American woman to receive a doctorate degree in the District of Columbia and the fourth to do so nationally 
Blyden Jackson – First African American tenured faculty member at a primarily white institution in the southeast; pioneered UNC’s African American Studies program. 
Roberta Jackson – First African American tenure-track faculty member in UNC’s School of Education 
Ruth Braswell Jones – First African American woman to serve as president of NCTA and NCAE; first African American woman to serve on the NEA board. 
Elizabeth Duncan Koontz – First African American president of the NEA. Established the Human and Civil Rights Division of the NEA 
Dr. Willa Player –First African American woman to serve as the president of an accredited four-year college in the United States (at Bennett College)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 February 2020 09:08
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