Namesakes

Mary Burns Michael Elementary School

Born Oct. 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, 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, the Rev. Dr. Curtis Michael, lends to the credibility of the stories she writes and tells.

Michael graduated from Albany State College (now Albany State University) in 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. After retiring in 1992, she continues to serve in various advisory capacities with Northside ISD.

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 for 35 years. At heart, she is a teacher’s teacher and is a member of the San Antonio Storytellers of America, and a former consultant with Macmillian/McGraw-Hill Publishers, and a published author with the San Antonio Word (a local Christian publication).

Michael and her husband are proud parents of Sharon Michael-Chadwell, Phyllis Michael, Lt. Vincent Michael (deceased), Valerie Johnson, and proud grandparents of two grandchildren, Curtis Laurence Chadwell and Gabrielle Olivia Johnson.

Michael continues to be an active part of the Michael ES 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.