Angela Terrell: Spirit of Gainesville nominee

Angela Terrell

Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 7, 2012 at 10:53 a.m.

We would like to nominate Angela Terrell for the second annual Spirit of Gainesville Award in the Arts category. Angela's lifelong dedication to the arts, as an elementary school music teacher, church music director, and board member of numerous community arts organizations, make her an ideal candidate for this award. Angela has touched the lives of countless Gainesville residents through her love of children and the arts.


Category: Arts

About Angela Terrell

Occupation: Fine Arts Instructor

Years in Gainesville: 60

Spouse: Frank Terrell

Children: Brandi and Ebony, sone-in-law Dominick, grandchildren CJ and Carrington

Angela is a Gainesville native who has lived here all her life, with the exception of four years attending Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Hampton in 1968, she returned to Gainesville to begin her career as an elementary music teacher. She taught at Duval and Sidney Lanier Elementary schools, before taking a position at Littlewood Elementary, where she taught for 27 years and where the school auditorium is now named Terrell's Performing Arts Center in her honor. At the higher education level, Angela served as an adjunct teacher, in the University of Florida's School of Music, for more than 8 years preparing potential elementary education teachers to utilize music as a vehicle for learning in the classroom. After a short-lived retirement, Angela helped create and implement a fine arts education program at Duval Elementary in 2003. This program provided piano, drumming, dance, and drama classes to all students. In addition, every second grader was given the opportunity to receive weekly violin instruction on violins purchased for the program. This fine arts initiative became a magnet program for the school district known as the Duval Fine Arts Academy. In addition to serving as Fine Arts Facilitator for the academy, Angela founded the Duval Community Arts Council, which has raised over $75,000 for arts education among underserved students and their families in Alachua County. In 2004, she worked cooperatively with founder Jacquelin Strappy to establish Destiny'z Child Mentorship Program for girls in kindergarten through fifth grade. She also served as co-facilitator for Building Blocks for Success, a mentorship program for fifth grade boys. Her philosophy of education is that it should concern itself with the whole child and “encourage all children to see themselves as worthwhile, unique individuals.”

Angela's involvement in arts education extends well beyond the schools. She has served on the board of the Gainesville Association for the Creative Arts, Alachua County Youth Orchestra, Star Center Children's Theatre, Acrosstown Repertory Theatre, North Florida Gospel Music Announcers Guild, and the Arts Association of Alachua County. She is Immediate Past President of the Board and current board member of Friends of Music. She was a member of the Planning and Organizing Committee for the newly established

Doris Bardon Community Cultural Center. As a board member and public relations chairperson for the Star Center Children's Theatre, she provided leadership to sponsor a week-long field trip to New York City for ten “Star Kids” in 2011. This proved to be a life-changing experience for many of the participants, who were given front row seats at the Apollo Theatre, took classes at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, attended a Broadway show every night, and met several high profile executives and TV producers at MSNBC studios.

Angela began playing the piano and singing in the choir at Johnson Chapel Baptist Church as a young girl. She has served as music director of this same church for over 40 years. In 2002, Angela served as co-director for the nationally known Franklin Graham Crusade, putting together a 1000-voice choir from over 100 churches for the crusade. She feels this was a tremendous opportunity for people of different races, denominations, and cultures to “come together for the common goal of lifting up their voices in song to those who needed encouragement and reassurance for a better life.”

Angela is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Alachua County Retired Educators Association, Alachua County Reading Association, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Florida Elementary Music Educators Association, Florida Music Educators Association, National Educators Association, National Music Teachers Association and Alachua County Education Association

Angela was featured in the November/December 2006 issue of Gainesville Magazine for her advocacy of fine arts education for children. She is the recipient of many awards, including Alachua County Teacher of the Year in 1994, the PACEsetter Award presented to her in 2002 by the Alachua County PACE Center for Girls, Inc. for being an inspiration to young women in our community, the Woman of Distinction Award in April 2008 and the Outstanding Service in Education Award given to her at the Ebony Appreciation Banquet in February 2010.

In addition to participating in these many religious, educational, and community organizations, Angela manages to spend time with her husband of 39 years, Frank, daughter Brandi, daughter and son-in-law Ebony and Dominick Shockley, and grandchildren Carlos “CJ” and Carrington.

Submitted by Trudy Harris and Kathy Anderson


She is a awesome woman. She was apart of a girl's organization when my daughter was a student at Duval Elementary. She played a major role with coordinating their cotilion. Mrs. Terrell also took the time to teach my son who is 21 now how to play the piano when he was a young kid.Mrs. Terrell is an role model and inspiration to all young girls and ladies.

Submitted by Vicki Taylor

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top