Early educators from Princeville

The exhibition in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery, inside East Carolina University’s main campus library on the second floor, through July 15 offers a brief overview and documents many of the principals and teachers who served as early educators for Princeville Graded School (later renamed Princeville School) in Princeville, North Carolina. This exhibit spans academic years 1883 through 1964.

It is timely as national Teacher Appreciation Week is May 8-12.

A reception was held April 20, featuring remarks by exhibit curator Saundra Stanley and a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the history of the school and Stanley’s 18 months of research. She used various resources to learn more about the school’s principals and teachers.

The school was established in 1883 and opened in 1888 to 240 students, Stanley said.

Saundra Heath Stanley

Princeville is the oldest incorporated African American town in the United States. It was originally named Freedom Hill and was renamed in 1885 after Turner Prince, who built many of the town’s structures.

“These people came at a time when Princeville needed them,” Stanley said of Princeville School’s early educators. “They came in bearing the gift of literacy that changed the world for many people. Just to think that a few generations down of people, I’m a descendant who had educational opportunities that came about because of these people. It was so surreal. Now, in the town of Princeville, we have people with doctoral degrees, we have health care providers, doctors, nurses, clinicians, attorneys, faith leaders, military service, postal workers, educators, social workers, government workers. This is all from little Princeville and it had so much to do with the people you see (in the exhibit).”

About Saundra Stanley: Saundra Heath Stanley was born in Tarboro, N.C., and reared in Princeville, N.C. She graduated from Princeville (Elementary) School and W.A. Pattillo High School. She is married, has two children and three grandchildren. Stanley is a retired registered nurse. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Fayetteville State University, a Master of Public Health Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-Gillings School of Global Public Health and a Master of Business Administration from Fayetteville State University. She lives in Fayetteville, N.C. with her husband.