Honoring local pioneers: CHS hosts Black History Month program

CHIPLEY — Chipley High School hosted a Black History Month program Monday, February 22. The program honored several Washington County pioneers and featured virtual guest speaker, Senator Bobby Powell, Jr., as well as performances and presentations by school district staff and former and current students.

The these was “Love Wins over Adversity – Know the Past; Shape the Future.”

Honored at the event were:

Marvis Jett, the first Black secretary to work at the Washington County School District office. She worked for WCSD for more than 36 years and is known within the district as a dedicated substitute teacher, a role she has served since 2002.

Sallie Johnson, who served as a nurse for more than 40 years and had the distinction of not only being among those graduating in the first nursing program at Washington-Holmes Technical Center (now Florida Panhandle Technical Center), but also being the first Black nurse to graduate from the program. Johnson went on to graduate from Wallace College and the University of West Florida and to instruct upcoming LPNs and CNAs. She is still active in her church and community and is known for being instrumental in educating the youth about local history.

Dr. Thelma Wood, a former educator and former Washington County Schools Board member who serves on the T.J. Roulhac Enrichment Center Board and is a driving force behind empowering the community’s youth.

Malcolm Nelson, the Pastor of Orange Hill Missionary Baptist Church and Vice President of the Ministerial Alliance in Washington County. Mr. Nelson also worked in the Washington County school system as guidance counselor and was instrumental in hosting the Vernon Middle School Black History Program. Rev. Nelson is also the Vice-Chairman of the Chipley Redevelopment Agency.

Dr. Val D. Sheffield, a medical doctor who has served thousands of patients at her free medical clinic located at the T.J. Roulhac Enrichment Center in Chipley; She also owns a business which serves battered women.

Josephine Robinson-Floyd, a former educator and former PAEC educational consultant who serves on the T.J. Roulhac Enrichment Center Board. She spearheaded the historical movement to keep the name “Roulhac” on the old Roulhac Middle School and also serves on the Chipola College Trustee Board and as intern supervisor for the FSU Panama City campus.

Leonard Blount, Pastor of Ambassadors of Christ International and a retired U.S. Army veteran with 20 years of service in the 82nd Airborne. Rev. Blount is the founder of Impact Outreach and the Second Chance Community Service Program and serves as the T.J. Roulhac Enrichment Community Center Board Chair and volunteers in the community and with school events.

This article originally appeared on Washington County News: Honoring local pioneers: CHS hosts Black History Month program

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