In 2019, the Brenda Norwood Elementary School will open in the Mansfield ISD. Its namesake is a trailblazing retired teacher.
Brenda Norwood was born in Fort Worth and raised in Mansfield. She attended segregated schools there. There were no busses to ride to school. Brenda walked to and from school every day. Her Mom was insistent that segregation was not going to hold her daughter back, and it didn't. Brenda says she's used every negative in her life to elevate herself.
In 1966, she graduated in the first integrated class at Mansfield High School. In 1968, she was a special education teacher's aide, the first African American to hold a classroom position in Mansfield. In 1996 she earned her degree and started teaching in her home district.
Norwood is retired now and she misses teaching. Her first students are now parents and grand-parents. They still call her to check on her and she calls them her "babies". She says being a teacher is a calling and it's up to teachers to help and guide each student to reach his and her potential.
The classroom legend has been married for 37 years, she's a mother to five children and a grandmother to five. She couldn't believe that a school will be named after her. She's humbled, honored and excited but she also says, “It's not a me thing, it's a we thing.”
Mrs. Norwood, Congratulations!