Home Lifestyle BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Shirley Fuller remembered for leadership in education, community

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Shirley Fuller remembered for leadership in education, community

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Black history, women’s history, Richmond County history, you name the category and the remarkable Shirley Fuller will fit the bill. She was the epitome of class, determination, grace, intelligence, integrity, leadership, poise and strength.

As the first ever female to serve on the Rockingham City Council in 2003, Fuller opened the door for female representation. She also paved the way for female leadership in education during her 41 years in public education, during which she served as both a teacher and administrator in North and South Carolina and Germany. 

Her personal education began after graduating from Leak Street High School in 1965. She next graduated from Winston-Salem State University in 1969 with a bachelor’s in elementary education, followed by two master’s degrees from N.C. A&T State University in elementary education, school supervision, and principalship in 1986 and 1989. 

As a teacher, Fuller taught at the following schools: R.B. Dean School in Maxton; Vass Lakeview Elementary School in Vass; Bennettsville and McColl Primary Schools in Marlboro County, South Carolina; Rohanen Primary School in Rockingham; and Monroe Avenue School in Hamlet. When she and her former husband, who served in the Army, were stationed near Frankfurt, Germany, she taught the American children on post. The final 15 years of her career in public education, she served as an administrator and also a role as a Title 1 Supervisor for Richmond County Schools. She served as a principal at Leak Street Alternative School, Hoffman Elementary, West Rockingham Elementary and Rockingham Middle School. 

Upon her retirement from the school system in 2010, she was appointed to the Richmond Community College Board of Trustees and also began teaching at the college as an adult basic education evening instructor. 

She also served on the Department of Social Services Board of Directors, Rockingham Recreation Foundation Board of Directors, Richmond Christian Counseling Center Board of Directors, Leak Street Community Center Board of Directors, Richmond County Smart Start Board of Directors, Rockingham Housing Authority Board of Directors, FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Foundation Board, Board of Directors for Samaritan Colony of Rockingham and on the Association of Community College Trustees. She was an active member of Alpha Pi Chi National Sorority, Inc. where she served as the national president for two terms. She was the first national president from the state of North Carolina.


(Note: Fuller passed away in October 2020.)

Today we celebrate the long list of history-making accomplishments of a lady who truly epitomized civic duty, honor, leadership and professionalism. 

Join us in honoring the life of Mrs. Shirley Fuller for her many years of service in a multitude of capacities in our community, making such a strong positive impact on so many staff and students alike, paving the way for black female leadership, and making Richmond County so proud!

Meghann Lambeth is executive director of the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority. 

(Editor’s Note: Visit Richmond County is highlighting prominent local African Americans each day in February in honor of Black History Month. Previous individuals featured include late Richmond County sheriff James E. Clemmons Jr., late state representative Harrison Ingram Quick, dancer and makeup artist Ciarra Kelley, Ellerbe Mayor Brenda Capel, two-time Super Bowl champion Perry Williams, Bishop Arlester Simpson of Ellerbe, Richmond County School Board member Ronald Tillman, and educator Melvin Ingram. See the Visit Richmond County Facebook page for more on these outstanding individuals.)

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