Northeast Texas Alliance of Black School Educators
Here to Make a Difference

By Jo Ann Rice

Northeast Texas Alliance of Black School Educators (NETABSE) founded its beginnings right here in Texarkana. In the spring of 2013, three members of the community, Dr. Ceretha Brown Levingston, Dan Haskins and James Keeton sent out notices to Texarkana College, Texas A&M University-Texarkana, Texarkana Independent School District, Pleasant Grove Independent School District and Texarkana Arkansas School District asking that they send representatives to Liberty-Eylau middle school library. The meeting was about starting the NETABSE. This group would be the first in upper east Texas. They would be forging new territory.

In order to understand the importance of our local organization, you must know the history of the National organization.  The National Alliance of Black School Educators began on November 20, 1970. While completing a dissertation examining school systems led by Black superintendents, Dr. Charles D. Moody, Sr., invited several African-American superintendents to a meeting at the O’Hare Marriott Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. The purpose of the meeting was to share concerns, develop a resource pool, and form an organization of Black school superintendents. Representatives of the Metropolitan Applied Research Center (MARC), the organization that helped to fund the early meetings, were Hylan Lewis, Director of the Fellowship Program and Dixie Moon, Executive Administrator.

Dr. Moody stated, “When one is in a struggle or battle, he looks around to see if he is alone. This human characteristic was one of the underlying factors in the formation of the National Alliance of Black School Superintendents.” Fifteen superintendents agreed that forming an organization was a viable idea. Before the end of the meeting on November 22, plans were made to meet again in August 1971 in Miami Beach, Florida. During the Miami meeting, the superintendents formally organized the National Alliance of Black School Superintendents (NABSS) and Dr. Russell Jackson was elected President.

In 1972, the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Office of Special Concern’s Office of African-American Affairs awarded NABSS a grant to conduct an in-depth research study of forty school districts that would be headed by African-American superintendents. Dr. Meharry Lewis was the principal investigator for the grant. The study resulted in the developing a set of educational objectives for school districts enrolling predominantly African-American students.

On April 19, 1973, during the presidency of Ulysses Byas, NABSS voted to include administrators and other educational personnel in the organization and changed the organization’s name to the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE). Commissions that linked members with common and related job functions were then formed. On November 23, 1973, in Detroit, Michigan, NABSE was formally launched with 284 charter members.

NABSE officially opened its first national office in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 1979. Dorothy Moore, on loan from the Detroit Public Schools, served as the first executive director. William Saunders was both office manager and executive director from 1983-1993.

The National Organization allowed for the creation of the state and local organizations. The state organization was the reason for the local organization.   The history of the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators began December 5-6, 1986 in Austin Texas. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a coalition of African-American educators and other individuals interested in developing strategies to improve educational opportunities for African American students and to eradicate problems faced by educators of African American students.

The discussion centered on the formation of a statewide organization, which would serve as the voice to speak out on educational issues affecting African American children and to present to the legislature those issues affecting educators of African American students at the state level. The name adopted for the organization was the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators (TABSE).

TABSE received its charter on November 12, 1987, with thirteen educators serving as Charter Members and on the Board of Directors. The charter members are as follows: Dr. Clarence Bibby, Austin; Dr. J. David Bowick, Houston; Mrs. Elma Jean Carr, Fort Worth; Mr. Edward Cline, Houston; Dr. Jay Cummings, Austin; Dr. Joseph Drayton, Houston; Mr. Dennis Dunkins, Fort Worth; Mrs. Donetta Goodfall, Austin; Mr. Roland Hayes, Austin; Dr. James Hill, Austin; Dr. Thomas Randle, Conroe; Dr. Alfred Roberts, Dallas; and Mr. Cameron Wells, Houston.

The attendees at the initial meeting of the NETABSE were Dr. Ceretha Brown Levingston, Dan Haskins, James Keeton, James Henry Russell, Paul Norton, Jo Ann Rice, Dr. Sandra Austin, Ella Austin, Barry Baker, Ben Carson, LaMarcus Franklin, and Brenda Stewart. At subsequent meetings, the group grew and did the necessary work to become the first Chapter of its nature in Bowie, Miller or Cass counties.

The group is off and running and it is now membership time. Dr. Ceretha Brown Levingston is the Chartering President. She and the members are eager to see this group grow. The local organization is committed to providing exceptional educational opportunities for all students, with an emphasis on closing the achievement gap of African-American students. We are also committed to creating a forum for the exchange of ideas and strategies to improve academic achievement.

We encourage you to join our organization and contribute to our efforts to provide all students with a high quality education, enriched with diverse learning experiences. We need to act now to ensure a better future for all students.

Chartering Officers were:

President: Dr. Ceretha Brown Levingston

President Elect: James Keeton

Treasurer: Brenda Stewart

Corresponding Secretary: Robert Jones

Recording Secretary: Sandra Austin

Financial Secretary: James H. Russell

Parliamentarian/Historian: Cathy Murphy

Public Relations Officer: Jo Ann Rice

Membership Coordinator: Barry Baker

Chartering Members were:

  • Ella Austin
  • Sandra Austin
  • Laronda Bailey
  • Barry Baker
  • Ruth Blackwell
  • Elnita Brooks
  • Gerald Brooks
  • Terri Brooks
  • Ben Carson
  • Deeandra Casteel
  • Gwendolyn Chatman
  • Cathi Compton
  • Roslynm Davis
  • John Edwards
  • Toney Favors
  • Angela Featherson
  • JoAnne Floyd
  • Jean Ford
  • Lamarcus Franklin, an Haskins
  • Dorothy Henderson
  • Amanda Henry
  • William Houff
  • Karen Johnson
  • Robert Jones
  • Martha Leblanc
  • Dr. Ceretha Brown Levingston
  • Lewis Lincoln
  • Latonya McElroy
  • Michael McGhee
  • Rick Miller
  • George Moore
  • Darla Moss
  • Cathie Murphy
  • Paul Norton
  • Joe Osborne
  • Keeneth Payne
  • Jo Ann Rice
  • James H. Russell
  • Brenda Stewart
  • Terry Taylor
  • Brandon Thurston
  • Jeremie Chad Turner
  • Dale Weeks
  • Michele Whorton
  • Dwight Wilborn
  • Cary Williams
  • Lori Williams
  • Perdita Williams

Copyright © 2018 Northeast Texas Alliance of Black School Educators (NETABSE) | A TABSE Affiliate
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