Our campus namesake continues to be an active part of our community. Her retirement does not limit her tireless commitment as an active citizen. In addition to her many community responsibilities she continues to find time to frequently visit the campus and share time with the children. She is an inspiration to all who have the opportunity to meet her!
Born October 4, 1933 in rural Georgia, Mary Burns Michael did not escape the countless harsh injustices placed upon African-Americans during this time. However, she was able to survive because of her faith in God, her creativity, ingenuity, and many sacrifices.
Today, Mrs. Mary Burns Michael is highly regarded and sought for her expertise on educational matters, Kwanzaa celebrations, and for her African/African-American storytelling which she delivers in her own unique way. The pilgrimage she made to Africa, along with her husband Rev. Dr. Curtis Michael, lends to the credibility of the stories she writes and tells.
Mrs. Michael graduated from Albany State College (now Albany State University) of Albany, Georgia in 1955 with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. Subsequently, she taught school in Georgia, Japan (with the Department of Defense Overseas School System), and Texas. Having retired in 1992, she currently serves in various advisory capacities with the Northside Independent School District of San Antonio, Texas. Her Teaching career recently culminated in the Northside School District having a school to be named the: Mary Burns Michael Elementary School
During her years in education, her colleagues nominated her for numerous awards both locally and nationally. In 1989, she was the recipient of the Black Achievement Award for "Excellence in Education."
Mary Burns Michael was able to rise above her environments; she went on to become the first and only member of her family to earn a college education after which she became a classroom teacher where she served for 35 years. Her depth of understanding as it relates to "pressing toward the mark" enabled her to become a "Lady of Independent Means," not in the sense of having acquired a wealth of material goods, but in the sense of having been able to use her God-given gifts for His purposes.
First and foremost, Mary Burns Michael is a Christian woman of conviction. Her Christianity is inviting, open, thoughtful, probing and challenging. At heart, she is a teacher's teacher which has manifested itself in her having become a member of the San Antonio Storytellers of America, and a former consultant with Macmillian/McGraw-Hill Publishers. She is a published author with the San Antonio Word (a local Christian publication).
Mrs. Michael and her husband, are proud parents of Ms. Sharon Michael-Chadwell, Ms. Phyllis Michael, Lt. Vincent Michael (deceased), Mrs. Valerie Johnson and proud grandparents of two grandchildren, Curtis Laurence Chadwell, and Gabrielle Olivia Johnson.