Kansas recognizes Black educators

Kansas recognizes Black educators

KSNW – WICHITA, Kan. The 1800s saw the arrival of the first Black educator in written records.

The first Black educator to openly teach in a school for former slaves is Susie King Taylor. Thousands have followed in her footsteps over the previous 175 years.

The Black Educators Hall of Fame inducts new members each year to recognize Black educators in Kansas. There is a high demand in the state for Black educators.

The founder of the Black Educators Hall of Fame, Janice Thacker, stated, “As a retired high school counselor, we could see the need.”

She founded the group in order to recognize Kansas’s Black teachers.

According to Thacker, “the benefits are that our students start considering teaching as a career.”

She has worked as an instructor for a long time.

“I was an art teacher first, and when I moved to White Plains, New York, they wanted Black teachers, and I was one of them,” Thacker remarked. “After that, I returned to Wichita and began working at East High School.”

Lola McLorin, a board member, was a teacher for almost 40 years before retiring. She learned that educators are the cornerstone of everything from her parents, who were themselves educators.

McLorian remarked, “My parents always said no one can take your education away from you.”

a maxim she lives by each time someone is chosen for the Black Educators Hall of Fame. LaVonta Williams, a retired health and physical education teacher, was honored in 2019.

“Up until I started high school, we thought that was the norm because we had so many African American teachers,” Williams remarked.

This enlightening experience paved the way for her career in teaching.

William remarked, “I went to Hamilton Jr. High, got the job, and I taught there my entire career.”

A multitude of young students had graced her classrooms, and she sought to establish connections with them regardless of where they were from.

Williams remarked, “Teaching taught me patience and the importance of helping others see themselves in a different light than they consider themselves.”

Michael Bruce, a former high school principal who continues to teach and substitute, has a similar tale to tell.

I have been employed by USD 259 for the past 43 years, and I will always be in favor of public education,” Bruce declared.

A handwritten portrait of the inductees into the Black Educator’s Hall of Fame that depicts them as their pupils recall them is also given to them.

“Watching another educator receive recognition is one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever had,” McLorian remarked.

Williams remarked, “It feels good to be acknowledged by my peers and students.”

On February 24, the Black Educators Hall of Fame will have its yearly ceremony to induct ten new teachers.


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