Creating Caring and Nurturing Educational Environments for African American Children

By Curtis L. Morris; Vivian Gunn Morris | Go to book overview
As conductor of teacher training institutes while principal in Tuscumbia and later when hired by the State Department of Education on a full-time basis, G. W. Trenholm had many opportunities to influence the educational philosophies of both principals and teachers throughout the state, including those employed in Tuscumbia.
As a leader in the state and national teachers' associations for African American principals and teachers, Mr. Trenholm had many opportunities to communicate what was needed to improve the quality of education for African American students.

For most of the principals at Trenholm, schooling in this community was a family affair. At least 7 of the 12 principals had wives who were members of the faculty and several had children who were enrolled at the school as well. Some of the principals lived within walking distance of the building, were present at every event held at the school, and were responsible for maintaining and securing the physical plant. Many principals and teachers also taught the same children at church on Sunday as they did Monday through Friday at the school. They were neighbors and friends of the schoolchildren and their families. They shopped at the same grocery stores, attended the same social events, and talked over the fence as they tended flower and vegetable gardens or hung out the family wash to dry. The principals were not strangers who went into the community to work each day only to disappear when the bell rang. This was their community as well. This proximity appeared to stimulate the supportive relationship that existed between the school principal, faculty, students, and parents for more than 90 years in the African American community in Tuscumbia. As teacher-leaders, principals were at the center of creating a caring and nurturing educational environment for African American children.


REFERENCES

Alabamian-Dispatch. ( 1918a, July 25).

Alabamian-Dispatch. ( 1918b, August 1).

The Amcrican Star. ( 1916, January 20). p. 1.

Bell, G. S. ( 1982). Principal questionnaire: Black education in a small southern town Tuscumbia, AL: Curtis and Vivian Morris.

Blood in a church. ( 1896, May 22). North Alabamianeducation.

Board minutes: Tuscumbia city board of education. ( 1916, August 11).

Board minutes: Tuscumbia city board of education. ( 1928, May 24).

Board minutes: Tuscumbia city board of education. ( 1930, August 30).

Board minutes: Tuscumbia city board of education. ( 1937, May 20).

Board minutes: Tuscumbia city board of education. ( 1938, June 13).

Board minutes: Tuscumbia city board of education. ( 1939, July 11).

Board minutes: Tuscumbia city board of education. ( 1944, October 14).

Board minutes: Tuscumbia city board of education. ( 1948, May 31).

Board minutes: Tuscumbia city board of education. ( 1949a, June 30).

Board minutes: Tuscumbia city board of education. ( 1949b, September 12).

Board minutes: Tuscumbia city board of education. ( 1950a, March 27).

-31-

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