In (belated) observance of World Teachers Day, I dedicate this post to all the teachers in my family. Looking back, my relatives have been educating others for more than 90 years. Here’s the roll call:
— my mom, who taught in Stewart County, Ga., Hinds County, Miss., and Fairfax County, Va. She is now an assistant principal at an elementary school in Fairfax County, Va.
— my aunt was an administrator at Daytona Beach (Fla.) Community College
— my cousin founded the Cleaster Mims College Preparatory School in Cincinnati. This cousin was one of the first black women to graduate from Xavier University in Ohio
my cousin, Henry Frank Nance (1951-2005), who by all accounts was just amazing, was a broadcast instructor at Lawson State Community College in Birmingham, Ala. I never knew him, but since I moved to Birmingham, it’s not uncommon for random people to ask me about him.
my grandfather, Y.C. Nance (1916-1966), taught farmers as part of his role as a extension service agent for Bullock County, Ala.
my aunt, Myra Nance Riley (1933-1997), was a teacher at Enterprise (Ala.) High School.
my uncle Louie Frank Nance (1927-1980) was a bus driver in that same school system.
my aunt, Mary Nance Dean (1929-1981), was also a teacher in Dale County, Ala.
my aunt, Madie Nance Finch, taught school in New Brockton, a town in Coffee County, Ala.
my Uncle Vic was a longtime teacher in Colbert County, Ala. His wife, Gladys Coprich Nance, was an English teacher at Alabama A&M University
my cousin, the late Rev. A.B. Clark (1924-2010), was a member of the Bullock County (Ala.) School Board and established the first Head Start program in that county. (Rev. Clark was a first cousin to Y.C., Myra, Mary, Madie and Vic, who were all siblings).
Elijah Tindell (1890-1973), one of my great-grandmother’s first cousins, was the first principal at Coffee County Training School, according to this history of the school.