2023 hall of
2023 Hall of Fame
Alene Baker graduated from Prairie View A & M University and the University of Texas at Commerce with a B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics. She began teaching in the Dallas Independent School District in 1969. She taught mathematics in several high schools. She was a curriculum writer, resource person, department chairperson, staff development chairperson, alternative certification mentor, and tutored students to master the state’s mandatory tests. Alene’s greatest accomplishments were “Teacher of the Year”, Who’s Who Among American Teachers, students’ level of passing mathematics increased, and students’ interest in mathematics improved. She is most proud of hearing success stories of her former students. She retired from DISD with 35 years of service.
DR. LEW BLACKBURN
Dr. Lew Blackburn, a career educator, beginning with Dallas ISD, served at the school campus, central administration, and college levels, and 18 years as a trustee on the Dallas ISD School Board, as President for two terms. The Fine Arts wing at Roosevelt High School is named in his honor. Dr. Blackburn earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, and a Master's degree in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce, later earning a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Blackburn, as President, Educational Leadership Associates, LLC, provided consulting services for board governance, educational leadership, and teaching and learning.
S. DEAN HILL
Dean Hill is a 47-year career educator for DISD with 26 served at Yvonne A Ewell Townview Center HS. He was recognized as Teacher of the Year at J.N. Bryan, OW Holmes and Townview. He earned his Bachelor’s in Music from Bishop College and Southern Methodist University and Master’s in Music from Texas A&M University Commerce. He is highly recognized for his ability to produce young artists, such as Stacy Hill of OW Holmes, Grammy winners Braylon Lacey, Robert Seawright, Roy Hargrove and Music educators Steve Gowans, Michael Hendrix and Carlisa Washington. In retirement, he is serving as President of Big “D” Band Boosters at Townview.
EARL A. JONES
Earl Jones is currently the Executive Pastor at Oasis Church Lakeview in Rowlett, Texas. He was born at Leoti, Kansas. He obtained his bachelor and master’s degrees from Kansas State University. Earl retired as Executive Director in the Dallas Public Schools, after 38 years. Earl has served as a teacher through Executive Director, where he has served in every sector/community within the Dallas school district. Earl is married to Luann and have been married for 37 years. He has four children and four grandchildren. When he has down time, he enjoys all sports (more watching than participating) these days but has an opinion on all sports. He also enjoys spending any free time with his family.
THELMA A. KELLY
Thelma was recruited by Dallas ISD to teach one of the first multi-handicapped classes in the district. She was awarded Teacher of the Year at Martin Weiss Elementary where she taught Life Skills classes. Aspiring to further her career in Special Education, Thelma later became a Coordinator, Director, and Executive Director of Special Education Services. She oversaw the final stages of Project Homecoming, resulting in hundreds of students with disabilities being returned to their home campuses to be reunited with their siblings and non-disabled peers. Ms. Kelly will always be remembered as a resource of knowledge in the field of Special Education advocating for schools, staff, and especially parents.
WILLIAM SAMUEL MITCHELL
While in Dallas ISD, Mitchell’s high school choirs earned 1st Place, Superior, and Excellent ratings. As band director, he composed the latest music for his bands and they were first and best to play and perform the latest and most popular tunes. Mitchell conducted Music workshops in Athens, Greece sponsored by the US Air Force; Hohenfels, Germany sponsored by US Army. The National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. renamed for him in June 2020. He is currently Professor of Music/Choir Director at Talladega College-Alabama. BS Degree in Music-Bishop College; MA in Music-Prairie View A&M University; Administration Certification-ETSU (currently Texas A&M at Commerce). He is married to Verna Mitchell, parents of three adult children, and two grandchildren.
BILLIE KERL ROBERTS
Billie Graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Music. Piano and Voice were Billie’s areas of concentration. Her career began with teaching “Choral and Music Theory” in several schools. Billie grew into other positions such as Coordinator of Fine Arts in East Oak Cliff Sub-District; District-Wide Facilitator for Secondary Vocal Music; and Administrator for the Fine Arts Department, all within Dallas ISD. Billie received many Accolades and Awards which include High School Teacher of the Year; Exemplary Teacher of the Year; DMMA Musician of the Year; and the National Association of Negro Musicians Award. Billie was a distinguished and accomplished musician and educator.
DR. JUANITA M. CLEAVER SIMMONS
Juanita M. Cleaver Simmons, PhD, Dallas ISD teacher for 25 years, including Lincoln Humanities Communications Magnet, where she spent most of her career. She taught at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and was later appointed Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Northwest Missouri State University. She is Senior Diversity Consulting Partner with Talent Management Consultants, LLC., and Diversity Consultant for the Missouri Juvenile Justice Association. Her accomplishments include the Lincoln Dance and Drum Ensemble and the Lincoln African Project (student tours in West Africa); designer and instructor of African-centered humanities curriculum at Lincoln; and ’50 People You Should Know in Missouri’ Award. She earned a PhD and Master’s in Educational Leadership from the UT-Austin.
EUGENE YOUNG, III
South Dallas native served more than four decades as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent in Dallas, Lancaster, Wilmer Hutchins, and Grand Prairie school districts. Mr. Young is known for moving low-performing schools to academic excellence. Under his leadership, J.F. Kimball High School (Dallas) became a recognized TEA Campus. Mr. Young served as chairman of the National Association of Secondary School Urban School Committee, Texas Association of Secondary Schools Board of Directors, and the University Interscholastic League Legislative Committee. Mr. Young was honored as Teacher of the Year, inducted in the Prairie View Interscholastic League Hall of Honor, and inducted into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame.
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For more information, call Dr. Alfred L. Roberts, Sr. (214) 478-7228 or Ms. Gwendolyn Brantley at (972) 298-6980 or fill out the contact form below.