Honoring Black Educators for Black History Month

Faculty Members Share Goals and Challenges as Black Educators


Autumn Thomas began her career at North Little Rock High as a classroom teacher, but eventually was promoted to a Multi-Classroom teacher who now inspires other educators to be their best.

Black History Month is a month observed in February created by the United States in 1970, to remember, educate, and honor the contributions and achievements of African-Americans.

At one time, African-Americans struggled to become educators because of Jim Crow Laws. These laws were abolished by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Today we have outstanding African- American teachers all over the world, including at North Little Rock.  Our school employs multiple amazing African- American teachers and faculty, such as Dr. Saint-Louis, the first African-American woman to serve as principal.  To celebrate Black History Month, a few of North Little Rock High School’s teachers speak on their goals, challenges, and experiences as black educators.

Cynthia Bell is a veteran English teacher who wants all of her students to do well.

English teacher Cynthia Bell believes that it’s important for students to have representation in the form of a black educator. She says her goal is, “To have my African American students be able to look back and say I had at least one teacher I could relate to and perhaps inspire them to be a teacher or educator one day North Little Rock, black educators aren’t limited to just the classroom. Autumn Thomas, who is a Multi-Classroom Leader, expresses similar desires as Bell, and weighs in on her overall wish as a black instructor. She wants, “To show that we are represented here, not only blacks but Latinos and Asian Americans, where they aren’t just teaching in areas with a certain language, where everyone can see themselves represented,” says Thomas.

Bridgette Youngblood, Family and Consumer Science Teacher, believes teaching is about inspiring others. She wants, “To make a difference in students’ lives, if you just touch one young person and make them aware of their success, you’ve accomplished something with teaching,” said Youngblood.

Bridgette Youngblood has been an educator for several years, and aims to inspire students.

Making a difference sometimes means using your position to push for equal representation not just among staff, but also for students. According to Bell, she sees a disparity in representation when it comes to advanced placement classes. She states,  “Because I teach such a variety of students I can see the difference in people of color not being in advanced classes like they can push themselves to be,” said Bell. Teachers use their knowledge to make sure all students are getting the best education.

While there are many challenges, staff members like JROTC instructor Sergeant Major Donald Hunter love the school environment. He says, “I love the comradery, I love teaching and leading these young students making sure they are seen and heard.”

Sergeant Major Donald Hunter loves the staff and students of North Little Rock High School.

 Even though Black History Month is only observed during one month, African-Americans, especially educators, should always be celebrated because of their amazing impact on students.