SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Adah Fulbright was the daughter of a former slave.
“She was a product of Springfield Public Schools,” said President of the Bartley-Decatur Neighborhood Center Mark Dixon.
Adah Fulbright spent four decades teaching Springfield students.
“we have records of her teaching as early as 1900, they were of course segregated at that time,” said Dixon.
Dixon says Fulbright lived during some of the toughest times for the Springfield community.
“I don’t think people understand how tough times were back then,” said Dixon.
However, Dixon says Fulbright never let the times stop her from forging a legacy for those who would come after her…..
“…leaving her mark on children to this day like Councilman Denny Wayne or Bishop David Knox or others in the community,” said Dixon.
Dixon says he’s thankful Fulbright’s legacy is finally being honored.
For the first time ever, a Springfield Public Schools building will be named after a local African-American leader.
“This is a local person who basically gave her entire life to educating children in this community,” said Dixon.
Dixon says it’s important for students to see people in leadership roles who look like them.
“It’s important to remember that MLK was a pastor, Adah Fulbright was a school teacher,” said Dixon. “These aren’t professions that a child can’t reach or aspire to.”
He says it makes it easier for a child to look at these leaders and envision themselves creating the same kinds of legacies.
The Adah Fulbright Early Childhood Center is expected to open this fall.
The center will serve around 250 students.