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Henderson Honors One of Their First African American Teachers

By Deneisha Pearson
By dpearson@wbbjtv.com

HENDERSON, Tenn. -- The First United Methodist Church in Henderson was packed with family and friends of Nina B. Ross.
Ross was one of the first African American teachers to integrate the Chester County Schools.

"This is such a surprise," Ross said. "I know I was going to have a reception, but I had no idea it was gonna be this many people here."

The former teacher turns 90 on February 24th but at 2:00 P.M. Saturday Mayor Robby King officially declared February 22 "Nina B. Ross" day.

"Chester county and Henderson is just about the greatest place in the world," Ross said. "And it's like everybody knows everybody and everybody is just comfortable and I love them, I just love people."

Ross, a graduate of Lane College, taught for Chester county schools for 39 years. With a career spanning from Jacks Creek Elementary to the Chester County Training School, her daughter Cathy Ross has fond memories of what it was like to watch her mother make history.

"When I was in second grade, it was going to have to be a split class and she did not want that to happen," Cathy Ross said. "So, I was actually in my mothers class for the second grade."

Ross, also a survivor of cancer, is still active in the community, and still serves on the senior citizens board.

"She is just so well known, and she's so loved, and its just wonderful to see everyone turn out for such a great event as her 90th birthday," Cathy Ross said.

The former teacher retired in 1984. She has a long list of accomplishments including being a volunteer for the Relay for Life, Reach for Recovery, Delta Sigma Theta and Meals on Wheels.