In the early 1970s  several community residents, Cecil Reed, Viola Gibson, Barbara Elam and Nelson Evans were in discussion with the school superintendent, Craig Currie regarding the lack of diversity in the Cedar Rapids School faculty.    As a result,  several African American teachers  were recruited to Cedar Rapids from out of state. Their names, positions,  the schools and year they started  are as follows, along with others who have followed later

Nelson Evans

Retired  Director of Elementary and  Secondary Education for Cedar Rapids Schools

Dr. Thomas Richard White was born May 16, 1935 in Evanston, Ill.  He attended Evanston Township High School.  He attained his Bachelor's and Masters Degree at Lincoln University, Jefferson City Missouri and his Ph.D at the University of Iowa.  He taught at Roosevelt High School in Gary, Indiana as Band and Choral Music Director.  He was Assist Principal at West Side High School, Gary Indiana.  He moved as Principal to Kankakee, Ill.    He married Ruth Trotter in 1966; they later divorced.
Tom was recruited to  ESC Cedar Rapids in 1972 where he continued the position as Director of Federal Programs for the Cedar Rapids Community School District and recruited many African American teachers. Those coming with him to Cedar Rapids were Ruth White, Carter Bradshaw, Gene Ferguson, and Judy Naylor.   He had a son Thomas R White Jr.  in a previous marriage. He was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity  He was the recipient of numerous accolades and awards.  He passed  on April 23, 1983.

Charles Dillard Assistant Principal Washington Senior High School
Chuck passed on  January 29, 2011,Cleveland Ohio; He was 81

Carter Bradshaw taught Social Studies at Washington High School. He came to Cedar Rapids in 1972 when the Cedar Rapids district was recruiting minority teachers to serve as role models to minority students. His hailed from Newport News Virginia. His education included a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Virginia; and a master's in secondary administration from the University of Iowa. Some of his interests included theater, music, drama, art and cooking. Carter will not only be remembered for his love of teaching and how the children responded to him, but he will also be remembered for his active participation in theater: Damn Yankees - Washington High School; Man of LaMancha - Theatre Cedar Rapids; Godspell - Mount Mercy College (now Mount Mercy University); The Wiz - Local branch of NAACP; and performed with the Cedar Rapids Follies for 25 years. Carter retired in the spring of 1998 and later started teaching again, a human relations course, at Coe College to prospective teachers and supervising student teachers. Carter resided on Washington Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids Iowa. Carter passed on March 7, 2007

Dr Ruth E White hailed from LaPorte Indiana. She received her BS Ed from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale Illinois; MS Ed from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville Illinois and her PhD from the University of Iowa. Dr White taught Language Arts at both Washington and Jefferson High Schools. She retired from teaching in 2000. Dr White is the Executive Director of The Academy which is a summer program for African American high school students and this program has impacted over 700 students since 1990. Her mantra is: "Education is the Key". She believes that without education, in any of its many forms, we, as a people, are lost

Tom Kenner, Counselor at Washington High



Carole Levy Bernard, a native Cedar Rapidian, started teaching as a first grade teacher at Tyler Elementary school (now Metro High School bldg). In 1982 she moved to Van Buren Elementary school where she also taught first grade. In 1984 she moved to Grant Wood Elementary where she taught first and second grade for 12 years and then became the school's facilitator in 1996. Carole was then offered the position of principal at Grant Wood for the 2002-03 school year.

Nancy J. Humbles of Cedar Rapids has worked in youth services and education in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City communities for more than 30 years and has served as the director of the Center for Diversity and Enrichment at the University of Iowa since 2007..  In 2009 she was elected to the Cedar Rapids Community  School District School Board, the first African American to hold the position.
Nancy was honored at the 2011 History Makers Gala
Gazette Sept 2011
Geradine Foy, Remedial Reading Specialist, Tyler School

Elaine Mosely, Primary Teacher Tyler

Norris Dobbin was born in Westfield, Ala.  He attended and graduated from Upper Iowa University.  After coming to Cedar Rapids Norris was a coach and facillitator for McKinley and also Community Liaison under Craig Currie. He received his Masters degree from the University of  Iowa.  Following this, Norris began a new career as a sales consultant for Cargill Corn in Cedar Rapids.   After his retirement from Cargill, he worked for Sears and the Saturn dealership
in Cedar Rapids
Norris Dobbin, 82, passed October 24, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia

                                                                                                                         Noreda Dobbin  Elementary Teacher at Tyler School;
                                              Counselor Monroe School; 
                                              Principal Monroe School;  Retired 2012

Barbara Osgood  Elemenetary Teacher at Nixonn School

Ozzie Eggelton
Ozzie Eggelton was born in Bristol Florida.  He attended Gulf Coast Community College from 1968-1970 which is located in Panama City Florida.  He then attended Parson College in Fairfield Iowa from 1970-1972 graduating with a BA in Physical Education.  He obtained a teaching/coaching position in the Cedar  Rapids Community School District where he is still employed at Harding Middle School.  Ozzie received his MA degree from Northeast Missouri State.  The Cedar Rapids Gazette named him Top of the Class Educator of the Week in 1997 and in 2005 he was named Walmart Teacher of the Year. 

Professor Sam Randall

James H (Samm) Randall is from Bolton North Carolina. He received his BA (English) in 1965 from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; MA (English) in 1967 from Carnegie Mellon University; and Graduate Study (English) from Indiana University 1967-1969 and Washington State University 1978-1981. Professor Randall began teaching at Coe College in 1969 in the areas of English; African American Literature; African American History; African Literature; West Indian Literature; and Poetry.
Dr. Randall retired his position as professor of English and American
Studies at Coe College in spring 2010.

Gwendolyn Randall hails from Bridgeport. Connecticut
She is a registered nurse and has over 25years of experience in nursing and education.  She is the director of Education and Organizational Development at St. Luke's Hospital.  She received her Bachelor's of Science Degree in Nursing in Connecticut and a Masters in Nursing with a focus on Education  from the University of Iowa

Marian A (Ampey)Nance  taught in Spain, West Germany, Turkey, South Korea and Cuba. She was born in Buxton Iowa, one of 13 children born to A G. Ampey but grew up in Cedar Rapids Iowa. She has two bachelor of science degrees from Central State University, Wilberforce Ohio; one in home economics, one in elementary education; a master's degree incounseling from Ball State University and further studies in West Germany and Africa. She had been an elementary education specialist with the Department of Defense overseas schools for over 14 years; beginning around 1970. After her three sons had grown up, she decided to study abroad and enrolled in a cultural program at the University of Madrid in Spain. While going to school she made the decision to substitute teach in Spain and later learned she could have a full-time position. Since she found it difficult to juggle between being both a teacher and student, she withdrew as a student.  Marion was a dedicated and honored teacher who taught in New Jersey  for six years and also the Cedar Rapids schools.  She retired in Cedar Rapids where it is believed she was the first African American to graduate from the Cedar Rapids schools , teach and retire as an African American teacher.   She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and was nominated into the African American Halll of Fame.   Marion, 89,  passed on June 30, 2011

Shirley Charisse Cox graduated from Mount Mercy College with a Bachelor of Science, Education (K-6) May 16, 1992.  She has been very active in the community having served on the district Multicultural Nonsexist Advisory Council, JSA Summer Arts Camps, and was a District G.A.I.N.E. Mentor.  Upon graduating, her first job was at Hiawatha Elementary School for one year.  As of 2010, she has spent her last 17 years at Johnson School of the Arts teaching the 1st/2nd Grade Multi age Classroom for 16 years and this year is teaching Fourth Grade. 

Gail Maddox, of Cedar Rapids, was a probation liaison of Metro High School, which is an alternative school in southeast Cedar Rapids since 1994. Gail would work with young children who had encounters with the law. Hanging over their heads would be the possibility of being placed on probation, being placed in a juvenile home or having their children taken away from them. She was considered an "inside tracker," a person who monitored children on probation while they were at school. Gail's children were those the probation officers felt needed extra support. After the children were off probation, Gail would still talk with them. She would do this just to stay connected. Gail's ability to listen to children with all their problems is attributed to her mother, Leatha Williams and her late brother, James "Chicken" Maddox. When she felt the problems were too much, she would just go off by herself and do what was necessary, but always letting her brother know what was going on.

Steven Shelby, was an academic advisor in the Upward Bound program at Coe College. A graduate of Mount Mercy College (now Mount Mercy University), he has worked with at-risk youths through Alternative Services, Foundation II Youth Shelter and Four Oaks. He was appointed to a six-year term on the library board of trustees which became effective on July 22, 1998.

Marie Wallace, a teacher at Polk Elementary school and a member of the executive board of the Cedar Rapids Education Association. Marie has taught for over 20 years at schools in East St Louis, IL; Bridgeton MO. and Cedar Rapids Iowa. Marie was also appointed to a six-year term on the library board of trustees which became effective on July 22, 1998.

Dr. Sid Wallace, was a principal at Madison Elementary School. He was well loved, well respected, and an outstanding principal, educator, and a gentle and compassionate man. Sid was born in Tunica Mississippi. He worked as a child abuse investigator, insurance salesman, disc jockey and an owner of a recording studio in the Memphis TN area. He also wrote songs for such recording artists as Otis Redding and Ike Turner. Sid had a doctorate in education from Nova University in Fort Lauderdale FL and was a principal in St Louis MO before being recruited to Cedar Rapids in 1987. He was the principal at Garfield elementary before moving to Madison Elementary in 1993. Among some of his other activities, Sid wrote books on the influence African Americans and for several years toured the state with an exhibit on African American inventors and published a coloring book of inventors. Sid was inducted into the Af American Hall of Fame February  in Ames, Iowa.  Sid passed Jan 22, 2001.

Rick Williams graduated from Washington High in 1969 and from the University of Iowa BA in 1974. He received Big Ten honors as a basketball  player at U of I. He was a Hall of Fame inductee at Washington High in 1988. He became Head Men's Basketball coach at Jefferson in 1991; led the team to State and was named Metro Coach of the Year, Conference Coach of the Year, and State Coach of the year in class 4A.Rick has been an educator with the Cedar Rapids Community District since 1976..  He has taught at Monroe Developmental Center and McKinley Middle School. He has had coaching positions at McKinley Middle School and Washington High. He was on staff at Jefferson High School as Head Men's Basketball Coach, physical education teacher and wellness instructor. His past goals were to pursue a career as a college level basketball coach or as an administrator.  in the Cedar Rapids District . Rick is currently Associate Principal at Washington High (2011)

Karl Werner, District Community Liaison, has worked in the area of cultural-specific programming for the past twenty years.  Karl was one of the co-founders of Harambee House in 1989, where he began his work with Mr. Bill Hood in developing the Rites of Passage Program for the Cedar Rapids, Iowa School District.  This program has been revised and has been started at 8 elementary schools within the district.  In addition he serves as one of the hearing officers within the Cedar Rapids School District.  Karl is the Financial Director of  ACTIVILICIOUS Productions, a children's book company.  He is chairman of the board for MADD Dads and participates on the advisory committee to Iowa State University.  Karl has received many awards throughout his career, including the NAACP President's Award, Kappa Community Service Award and various community service awards, including PRISM award from the Lt. Governor of Iowa.  Most recently Karl was recognized with the Martin Luther King "Who Is My Neighbor" Award, given in recognition of community service.
Karl is available for public speaking on the following subjects:  Youth Development,  Substance Abuse,  Community Involvement in Education, Substance Abuse,  Cultural Specific Programming (African American)  and The Plight of the African American Male Within the Past 50 Years.

Donna Washington-Weinbrenner, Kindergarten Teacher at Polk Elementary for   22 years passed  away after a lengthy illness  She had a   Bachelor's degree in education, William Penn College; Master's degree in Educational technology, University of Iowa.   Mrs, Weinbrenner had varied interests and was very active in community theater for many years, participating as both a performer, a behind-the-scenes stagehand and a youth theatre instructor  One of her earlier students was Elijah Wood, who has done several movies ,some of which were the "Lord of the Ring" series.
It was never a question while Donna was growning up - She was going to be a teacher.  Her parents told her..  Her grandparents told her and her mentor, the late Viola Gibson, told her.  So Donna chose education when she earned a teacher's degree at William Penn College in Oskaloosa and a master's degree at the University of Northern Iowa. 
 Although she could not return to teaching in the classroom because of her illness.  She spent her last year volunteering her time to read with  Polk kindergardtners,  Donna passed on

Davena Johnson, a native Cedar Rapidian, teaches Title One Math at Cleveland Elementary School as of 2010 and has been there for four years.  She focuses on the students who are below the 40th percentile on their ITBS in the area of math.  Davena currently obtained her Master's Degree in Educational Leadership.

Akwi Nji-Dawson graduated from Washington High School and then graduated from University of Iowa with degrees in English, Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in African American Studies.  She earned her Post Bachelor of Arts Teacher Certification from Coe College.  She has been employed by the Cedar Rapids Community School District since 2003 as a Language Arts Instructor at Washington High School. 

Marcus Perkins, a native Cedar Rapidian, graduated from John F Kennedy High School.  He enjoyed local successes as a varsity wrestler in both junior and senior high school, only losing 21 matches in his prep wrestling career throughout those years.  It was at this time Marcus explored the possibility of entering the education field due to a lack of exposure to Black educators, while receiving his education throughout the 1960's and 1970's.  Marcus received his BA from McPherson College in Kansas in 1977; his MA from University of Iowa in 1992; his Assistant Wrestling Coach certification in 2006; Assistant Girl's Volleyball Coach certification for Franklin Middle School in 2009; and was in Who's Who in 2009.  Marcus was also featured in a commercial for Hills Bank.  On his musical abilities, please go to the Fine Arts tab.

Robert Lee Johnson came here from Detroit Michigan.  He attended the University of Detroit Mercy and earned his B.S. in Business Administration in 1996.  He attended Marygrove College in Detroit where he earned his Masters in May 2002.  He then obtained his Education Specialist Certificate in Administration and Supervision from Wayne State University in Detroit in May 2005.  He moved to Cedar Rapids in 2007 and became employed with the Cedar Rapids Community School District.  He became the first Black in an administrative position at John F Kennedy High School where he is the Associate Principal. 

Jason Edwards was born in Sandusky Ohio and moved to Cedar Rapids Iowa at the age of 9 with his family.  He graduated from Washington High School in 1991 and attended Cornell College graduating in 1995 with a BA in Sociology and Ethnic Studies.  He obtained his Master's Degree in School Counseling from Drake University.  Jason has worked for the Cedar Rapids School District since 1999 as a School Community Liaison and now as a High School Counselor at Jefferson High School.  He has been a high school football coach and girl's basketball coach since 1995. 

Jerry Nelson

Kenneth Earl Theroith hails from Memphis Tennessee.  His family moved to Waterloo in 1957 and he graduated from East High School.  Kenneth attended the University of Northern Iowa where he received his BA in Physical Education with a minor in Spanish.  He also earned a coaching endorsement.  Kenneth began employment at Metro High School teaching Spanish and Physical Education in 1996 where he currently remains. 

 Ellen Marie Daye-Williams was born and raised in Wake Forest, North Carolina. The second oldest of seven children, she was raised by her maternal grandmother following a serious illness at the age of  4. Ellen was an honor student and class officer at Wake Forest -Roseville High School. She attended Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1972, graduating early.  She worked as administrative assistant for     the Upward Bound/special Services Program from December 1975 until commencement in May 1976.  She enrolled in the master's program in speech pathology at The Ohio State university in the fall of 1976 and graduated spring of 1978.  She began her educational career as a speech language pathologist in Ottumwa, Iowa with Southern Prairie AEA in 1979.  She moved to Cedar Rapids in January 1980 and worked for 23 years as a speech-language pathologist and consultant for Grant Wood AEA.  Ellen graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a master's degree in education administration in May 2004 and was appointed principal at Grant Wood Elementary that fall.  Ellen feels that the most important thing her grandmother taught her was "Do it right or do it over."  She taught her the importance of being self-sufficient and not counting on someone else to take care of you. In her spare time, Ellen loves reading self help and do-it-yourself books, writing praise songs, children's songs, rhymes and games.  She works to provide basic necessities for families and children in need.

Tashona Marshall, a native of Chicago, graduated from North Central College in Naperville, IL in 2002.  While attending school, she was Vice President of the Student Body, President of North Central College's Voices of Praise, and Peer Minister in the Office of Campus Ministry.  Upon graduating from North Central College, she moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  She was licensed as a minister in 2004 by Pastor Paula Garner and was ordained in February 2010 as a Prophet.  Ms Marshall is a principal at Johnson School of the Arts in Cedar Rapids.  She has taught reading, math, and social studies, 6th and 7th grades, while serving as a part of an administrative team two years prior to her appointment as principal of Johnson School.  Tashona is finishing her doctoral studies at the University of Northern Iowa majoring in Educational leadership:  Chief Executive Administrator for Schools (Superintendency).  Tashona comes prepared to "uproot, and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, and to build and to plant."  - Jeremiah 1:10

Aaron Greene

James "Chicken" Maddox, December 12, 1959 - March 22, 2000.  His grandmother gave him the nickname of "Chicken" because he loved to suck on chicken bones after the meat was eaten off of them.  James was employed at Metro High School as a community liaison for 17 years.  James was also employed with Jane Boyd Community House for over 20 years having started his employment in 1980.  He was in charge of several activities such as the Volleyball program, Men's Drop In Basketball and Teen Night which was held on Wednesday nights. 

Slayton Thompson, hails from Rockford Illinois.  He was a Community Liaison with the Cedar Rapids School District.  Slayton comes from a musical family with his father inspiring him to play by introducing him to the piano at an early age.
During the thirty-seven years he was employed by the Cedar Rapids Community School District, he was also active in party politics, union work, music (both performing and teaching), commmunity boards and committees and his church - in addition to being a husband , father, foster parent and friend to many.   Slayton has shared his talents and energy unselfishly for these many years and all of us have been the beneficiaries.   Active, caring, resourceful and responsible are words that describe Slayton as employee, volunteer, and mentor, but funny, enthusiastic and energetic also describe ways in which he approaches whatever work he is engaged in  He retired from the school system in Fall 2011.
More to follow on Slayton in another area of the web site regarding him originating the Drum and Bugle that made it to Washington DC and  to the Inaguration 

Sandy Ledford, Principal, Harding Middle School.  She was recognized by the State of Iowa with a FINE School Award and Harding Middle School was a finalist in the US Department of Educations Recognition Program.  Sandy's leadership style was one which empowered Harding employees to participate in decision making.  She began teaching in the Cedar Rapids Community School system as a Language Arts teacher and served as Associate Principal at Kennedy High School for two and one half years prior to becoming the Principal at Harding.  She served on the St Luke's Hospital Board of Directors and at the Mt Zion Baptist Church.  In 1985 she was named Outstanding Black Educator of the Year by the Black Coalition of Cedar Rapids Inc.--

Jamie Polk
McKinley School

Jacqueline Hullaby
2011 Washington High
World Language

 Lavista Hickock
2011- Washington High

 Sam Green
2011 Washington High
Language Arts

 Natlie Roston
2011 Washington High
Special Education

 Blake Rowland
2011 Washington High
Student Liaison

 Craig Taylor
2011 Washington High
Student Liaison

Marc Taylor
Student Support Liaison
Johnson School 2011

This list is incomplete re  current position  and picture
or updateded info and/ or  where individuals   are located
Also there might be some names- some new not included.   Please help keep this current
E mail to Connie Hillsman or Bev Taylor at    Thanks in advance

Kevin Benford Music McKinley M/S
Denise Bridges ASAC All Schools
Wardell Diggs
Eugene Ferguson Instrumental Music Tyler
Tyrone Hunt Art/Track
Virginia Irwin Typing
Dan Pledge Johnson Corrections Johnson School of Arts
Gwen Jones Physical Education McKinley M/S
Janie Jones 4th/5th Grade Teacher Johnson School of Arts
Billie Mims Teacher
Willard Mosely Tyler
Judy Naylor Vocal Music Tyler
Greg Outlaw Coach
Kim Abrams- Bryant  Laison