Ceremony filled with laughter, tears

On behalf of Shirley J. Walthall and our family, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the Everett School District, The Hawthorne Ambassadors and our many friends and Shirley’s colleagues for the honor afforded Shirley in the naming of the Library at Hawthorne Elementary School in her honor. (Dec. 4 article, “First black teacher in Everett is honored.”)

The program covered many aspects of Shirley’s involvement, including advocacy and caring for all parts of our community. She was a teacher at Hawthorne for 10 years and the principal there for five years. Shirley began her teaching career in Everett as the first black teacher in the Everett Public School System.

This occasion was a standing-room-only event with former students and colleagues, family friends and dignitaries (who are also friends). There were moments of both tears and laughter during commentaries that echoed her amazing life of sharing and caring.

To our many friends who called or came by our home to express their regrets for not being aware of this ceremony, we apologize if you did not receive announcements/invitations in time, but please know that none of you were intentionally excluded, and your concerns are very much appreciated.

Bennie (Joey) Walthall


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