A Scouts honor for educator, Twenty Pearls


Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 2:31 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 2:31 p.m.

Passionate, energetic, amazing, dynamic, compassionate, knowledgeable and giving are some of the words used to describe Angela Terrell, an educator who is being honored for making a lasting impact in the community while embodying the values of the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council.

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Angie Terrell, the piano/keyboard and violin teacher at Duval Elementary Fine Arts Academy, the musician at her church, Johnson Chapel Baptist Church, and a member of several community arts organizations, will be honored Friday by the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council.

AIDA MALLARD/Special to the Guardian

Nona Jones, chairwoman of the Girls Scouts of Gateway Council Board of Directors, said Terrell is one of five women who will be honored during the 2013 Women Who Make a Difference luncheon Friday at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center.

The other honorees are: Susan Crowley, assistant vice president of community relations at the University of Florida; Susan Spain, contractor and co-owner of Spain & Cooper Construction Co.; Jennifer Costello, financial adviser at Wells Fargo Advisors, and Debby Knopf, vice president of Florida Citizens Bank.

“She (Terrell) is the definition of a woman that makes a difference,” said Jones. “That's why she is being honored.”

Terrell, 66, started out as a Brownie and eventually reached Girl Scout status at the age of 9. Terrell said the Girl Scout program impacted her character and she learned the importance of sharing, caring, goal-setting, integrity and giving back to the community.

Jones said Terrell has impacted the lives of countless students at Duval Elementary Fine Arts Academy through academics and music. “She has done amazing things with very little resources,” Jones said. “If you add the number of children she has impacted in more than 40 years, it would be thousands of children.”

Currently, Terrell is the piano/keyboard and violin teacher at Duval and also the musician at her church, Johnson Chapel Baptist Church in east Gainesville.

A native of Gainesville and one of three children of the late Shelton and Charlotte Robinson, Terrell began her music teaching career at Duval in 1968, fresh out of college. She earned a bachelor's degree in music education from Hampton University in Hampton, Va., and a master's in music education from UF.

It was at Duval that she met her husband, Frank Terrell, a fifth-grade teacher at the time. They were married a couple of years later. They have two daughters, Ebony Terrell Shockley and Brandi Terrell, and two grandchildren, Carlos James (C.J.) and Carrington.

Her professional career includes teaching music at Sidney Lanier Elementary School from 1971-1973 and also Littlewood Elementary School until her retirement in 2000. She also served as an adjunct music teacher at UF.

Two years into her retirement, Terrell received a call from Leanetta McNealy, then principal at Duval, asking her to come out of retirement to implement Duval's fine arts curriculum. She accepted.

“I enjoy working with children and helping them find their path, whether it's in music or not,” Terrell said.

McNealy, now an Alachua County School Board member, said Terrell is most deserving of the honor. “She is a woman who makes a difference,” McNealy said. “She has done that through the years.”

Terrell also gives of her time to several organizations, including Friends of Music, The Actors' Warehouse, Building Blocks for Success Mentorship Program, the Arts Association of Alachua County and the Duval Community Arts Council.

The Rev. Dr. Marie Herring, pastor of Dayspring Baptist Church, said there are very few musicians who grew up in their church and continue to play there. She said church musicians present programs all the time and are paid very little. “They do it out of service for their congregation,” said Herring, adding that Terrell is so multi-talented, the community calls on her to do various things.

“She's also very religious and has strong convictions,” said Herring.

Twenty Pearls

The Twenty Pearls Foundation, the charitable arm of the Mu Upsilon Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., installed a new president/CEO and three new members of the board of directors during the group's annual meeting to kick off the new year.

The foundation is dedicated to community service by providing college scholarships, preventive health education, such as cancer awareness, economic literacy education programs and empowerment opportunities for girls in middle and high school.

Florida Bridgewater-Alford, campus community outreach director at the University of Florida, was named president/CEO for the 2013-2014 term.

“I'm honored to assume the helm of the Twenty Pearls Foundation as we collaborate with the community to provide college scholarships to stellar Alachua County students, preventive health education, economic literacy education programs and services to our community,” said Bridgewater-Alford. “We believe that through partnership and strategic collaborative response, all emerge as beneficiaries.”

The new board members installed were: Natalie King, a UF doctoral scholar in curriculum; Ovela Williams, a Realtor and owner of Williams Realty, and Ethel Campbell, staffing specialist for Alachua County Public Schools.

Other board members are Cynthia Moore Chestnut, vice president; Diyonne McGraw, treasurer, and Shirley Green Brown, Rosemary W. Christy, Pamela Archer, Thelma Juanita Mosely, Dana Lindsey and Jerri Richardson.

During the meeting, the board of directors also presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to Patricia Morand and the Chairman's Award to McGraw.

Bridgewater-Alford said the foundation will continue working to make a difference in the community. In the last 30 years, she said $150,000 has been provided for scholarships for high school students and for the Cullen Banks Endowment at the UF College of Medicine.

She wants to see the number of annual scholarship recipients increased from the current eight students and the annual scholarship amounts increased from the current $1,000 to $2,500.

Bridgewater-Alford said in 2009, the foundation established a building fund for a facility that would be used to meet, coordinate and stage programs and also provide meeting space for other local organizations.

“We found we had a hard time finding space to meet and hold programs,” she said. “We want to serve as a beacon and assist other non-profits.”

— Aida Mallard

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