Wednesday, July 24, 2024


March 19, 2019 by  
Filed under Community

Be the First!


Dr Tiffany Tyler

March marks the celebration of Women’s History Month. As we commemorate the achievements of women, I am reminded of the many women who have contributed to the education of our community. This list includes stalwarts like Ruby Bridges, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Septima Poinsette Clark.

As a trained educational psychologist, I am personally grateful for the contributions of Dr. Inez Beverly Prosser — the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate degree in psychology.

As I consider the journey of children in districts across this country, I am reminded of Fanny Jackson Coppin, the first African-American woman to serve as a principal. Mrs. Coppin’s legacy is reflected in the leadership of local education juggernauts: Helen Anderson Toland, Billie Knight Rayford, Dr. Celese Rayford, Dr. Linda Young, Dr. Beverly Mathis, Eva Simmons, Dr. Marilyn Jordan, Dr. Celeste Hunter, Marsha Irvin, Erica Etienne, Dr. Jolene Wallace, Dr. Greta Peay, Dr. Shaun Cochran Hall, Carol Threats, Shirley Barber, Dr. Carolyne Reedom, June Whitley, Joanne Pughsley, Kaweeda Adams, Dr. Lisa Morris Hibbler, April Key, Pamela Goynes-Brown and countless other women who have contributed to the successful of education of children in K-12 settings throughout Nevada.

As I observe Women’s History month, I am also reminded of my journey as a student of color. Accordingly, I celebrate the scholarship of Jeanne L. Noble, the investment of Lucy Diggs Slowe, and the leadership of Dr. Johnetta Cole.

Dr. Noble was the first researcher to examine the experience of African-American women in higher education, with the publication of her book, “The Negro Woman’s College Education.”

A founding member of the first African-American sorority, Slowe was the first black woman to serve as Dean of Women at Howard University.

Dr. Cole paved the way in higher education, as the first African American woman to serve as president of Spelman College. Dr. Cole also served as president of Bennett College.

Las Vegas has an equally rich history of women serving in higher education — including Dr. Harriet Barlow, Dr. Esther Langston, Dr. Angela Amar, Rachel Anderson, Dr. Constance Brooks, Allison Stephens, Dr. Marya Shegog, Dr. Melva Thompson-Robinson, and Dr. Sandra Owens.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, may we also strive to be first! Be the first to act with conviction, resolve and integrity, while striving to honor the rich legacy of women in education!

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