Block Series

CHARLESTON – Betty Cardwell Spencer will present “African American Life: A Personal Perspective” in the Archives and History Library in the Culture Center in Charleston on Saturday, June 29. The program, part of the 2019 Block Speaker Series, will begin at 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Spencer was born in Institute, the daughter of Mark H. Sr. and Jenny Williams Cardwell. She has one brother, Mark.

Her formal education began at Institute Elementary School on the campus of West Virginia State College (now University) and continued until she graduated from Dunbar High School in 1963. Spencer attended West Virginia State College, graduating in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education, then attended West Virginia University to obtain a master’s degree in education.

Spencer began teaching in Kanawha County schools at the age of 21 and continued for more than 43 years. A school principal for 32 years, she briefly served as director of elementary and secondary education for Kanawha County before returning to the principalship for the remainder of her career. Spencer has received many honors, including the Title I Award for Distinguished Schools at Ford Elementary and Dunbar Intermediate; the Dr. Hazo W. Carter Jr., West Virginia State University Educator of the Year Award; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Educators and Civil Rights Activist Award; and the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Education Award. She also was inducted into the West Virginia State University Sports Hall of Fame.

She is a lifetime member of All Saints Episcopal Church. She was briefly appointed to serve on the Kanawha County Board of Education and was employed with the Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Action as the director of pre-school/after-school programs.

For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at 304-558-0230.

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