Born on July 2, 1924 in Halifax, Virgina
Educator, Entrepreneur, Activist
Interviewed by Dara Foster
2005 Visionary Heritage Fellow
Coppin State University
Dr. Elizabeth Arthur Edmonds worked as a Baltimore City Public School Educator for 32 years. She began teaching English at Gwynn Falls Junior High to seventh and eight graders. She then taught English at Carrollton Junior High and later Lombard Junior High, where she established the National Honor Society as well as a tutorial program for elementary pupils in feeder schools. She continued to teach English at the secondary level at Douglass High, her alma mater, and at Northwestern High.
Dr. Edmonds played a role in the opening of two new schools: Lombard Junior High and Northwestern Senior High. From there, she worked in administrative and supervisory positions, starting at Lemmel Junior High as a Department Head I in English. She also worked for ten months as assistant to the principal. Dr. Edmonds took on her first job as principal at Booker T. Washington Junior High, and later served as principal at Northern Parkway Junior High, Western High, Southwestern High and Northern High schools. In many of these positions, she was either the first African-American principal or the first African-American female principal. After 32 years of hard work and dedication she retired from public education, but continued her work in academia. Dr. Edmonds became an adjunct professor at Coppin State University, where she is currently teaching honors and remedial English and Business Management Communication.
Born in Halifax, VA, Dr. Edmonds is the only child of Martha Ann and Garfield Arthur. She grew up in Baltimore, MD, where she lived with her mother and stepfather, George Franklin Thomas. She learned the importance of education at an early age, and has strived to be “a stepping stone and not a stumbling block.”
Dr. Edmonds is married to Norman A. Edmonds and they have one son, Bernard. She received her B.S. and M. Ed from Loyola College (formally Loyola Evergreen) and her Ph.D. in Education Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has studied at Kyoto University in Japan, New York University, Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University.
The numerous accolades Dr. Edmonds has received include, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Baltimore Chapter Outstanding Women of the Year, Southern Baptist Women Outstanding Educator and Administrator Award and The Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH) President’s Distinguished National Service Award.
She loves to travel and read sci-fiction and mysteries.
URL (Click to bookmark): http://www.visionaryproject.org/edmondselizabeth