WSSU’s Education Department celebrates 125 years

WSSU’s Education Department celebrates 125 years
November 02
06:00 2017

Before J. Wesley Hanes opened his hosiery mill right here in Winston-Salem, even before the Reynolds family made a big name for themselves in the tobacco business, Winston-Salem Teachers College was preparing African- Americans for careers in the classroom.

What started out as a one room, one major, one teacher institution on 50 acres of land, has grown to become one of the best HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in the country, known today as Winston-Salem State University.

Last week thousands of alumni returned to the city to celebrate the legacy of WSSU during Homecoming. And on Thursday, Oct. 26, the Department of Education celebrated 125 years of excellence. During the Educators Endured, Enriched and Embodied Excellence Luncheon at the McNeil Banquet Hall in the Anderson Center, WSSU administrators sat down with alumni, and current students in the education department to reflect on the history of the program.

Currently, WSSU teacher education graduates are recruited by school districts across the country and close to 100 percent of students are hired after graduation. Over the past four years the department of education has brought in nearly $2 million in grants.

“As a proud 1984 graduate of the finest teacher education program in the land, I stand before you today to tell you that I would not be anything but a Ram,” said Dr. Beth Day-Hairston, Department Of Education chairwoman.

Honorary co-chairs Dr. William Harris, class of 1958, and Dr. Sophia Pierce, class of 1960, reflected on their time at “Old State U.” Dr. Harris, WSSU Board of Trustees chairman, said his alma mater is a “trailblazer” in the field of education.

“Our past is indeed bold but our future success is dependent entirely on what happens today,” he said. “While some may be discouraged by the number of students going into the education field, we cannot become discouraged because we are a part of the metamorphosis. We must stay the course.”

Dr. Price said she was honored to be named co-chair for the annual luncheon. She also tipped her hat to the current educators in attendance and dropped some knowledge on the current students. She said “Educators, I salute you for your service to our children all over the world because of the lessons of excellence that we learned right here at Winston-Salem State University, you have been able to enrich the lives of so many.

“Students, I urge you to be serious about your work. Have high expectations for your students because you have the opportunity to enrich the lives of people who can make a difference throughout the world.”

The highlight of the luncheon was the presentation of the 125th anniversary commemorative medal. This year, the department of education honored Dr. Essie McKoy.

Currently the principal and executive director at Philo-Hill Magnet School, Dr. McKoy is a 1990 graduate of WSSU. Before joining Philo-Hill last school year, Dr. McKoy served as principal at Petree Elementary School for four years. In 2015, Petree was named a “Signature School” by the Piedmont Triad Education Association for demonstrating student growth. Dr. McKoy also served as the principal of Hall-Woodward Elementary School.

“Dr. Essie McKoy is a transformational leader and has improved the academic performance of all the schools she has served,” said Dr. Day-Hairston before presenting the medal.

When asked about her accomplishments as a principal, Dr. McKoy attributed her success to teamwork.

She said, “I’ve had a lot of experiences making an impact with children who need us most and it is so critical that we work together.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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