Editors note: This is the fourth of a multi-part series of columns on inductees for the 2015 International Educators’ Hall of Fame.
Margaret was born in Birmingham, Alabama and received her early education at Lincoln Elementary School and A.H. Parker High School in Birmingham. She then attended Alabama State College in Birmingham and finished her B.A. degree in 1967 from Chicago State University in Chicago, Illinois. In 1984. She earned her Master’s Degree in Education from the United States International University.
Margaret has spent 44 years in the education arena.
Growing up, her mother encouraged her to get an education because she want her to have a better life than she had. Margaret says her mother could not help her much when she went to Alabama State, but she was always there and did whatever she could to encourage her. Margaret says she always wanted to make her mother proud of her.
Margaret experienced a turning point in her life, when she came to California and when she married her husband, Max. Coming to California with her two children, offered Margaret an opportunity to be hired by the Santa Ana Unified School District, where she taught at Monte Vista Elementary School for 11 years. After that, she taught for 23 years at Spurgeon Intermediate School until she retired in 2002—thus teaching for a total of 35 years.
While Margaret was at Monte Vista she was very involved in student-centered multicultural activities. She continued this interest when she transferred to Sturgeon Middle School, where she was instrumental in reactivating the fledgling Multicultural Committee there. Under her leadership, the school celebrated many cultures and the students learned about various cultures and personalities.
In 1997, Margaret was selected as Teacher of the year by her peers. One of her noted accomplishments was the creation of the “Black History Bowl” that challenged students to learn African American history. In 2000, this game won Margaret the Women’s History Month Bethune Legacy Award by the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and an appearance on KOCE-TV “Real Orange News.” The NCNW, in the following year, volunteered to help out and participate in the Black History Bowl program.
Today, Margaret is retired and still active in her community. She helps to fundraise for various youth activities and is a missionary at her church, Johnson Chapel. She and her husband travel, own a travel business, and, she loves reading.
Her advice to youth: “get the best education you can by working hard, being determined, and, persevere. Develop a good work ethic and surround yourself with people who have goals and aspirations, and, are positive role models. Success does not always come overnight, so don’t expect instant gratification, but put everything you have into your quest for excellence; then success usually comes. Don’t quit because you do not succeed at first. Keep trying because the race is not always to the swift, but to the ones who endure. ”
Two of her favorite quotes: “Winners Never Quit and Quitters never Win” and “Life is All about change. Sometimes change is good and sometimes it is not.”
“My family is very special to me,” says Margaret. “They have supported me in all my endeavors. I will always try to be a positive role model for my children; they help whenever they can. My husband helps me in many of my endeavors; like fundraising, the travel business, and my NCNW activities.”
The induction into the International National Educators’ Hall of Fame takes place on Saturday, October 24, 2015 at the Grand Auditorium of the Church of Scientology of Orange County, 505 N. Sycamore Street, Santa Ana, at noon.