Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Joreen Waddell- Then and Now, Doing What Makes Sense

Huntsville High School teacher Joreen Waddell considers herself a pretty typical person. But, when you start talking to her you realize that, despite what she may think of herself, she's actually a pretty remarkable lady.

Joreen Wadell- Doing What Makes Sense
Joreen was born in Huntsville, and her family has been here for over eighty years.  Back in the 1960s, she was an eighth grader at Scott Johnson Junior High, which was the Middle School that the black kids attended.  At that time Huntsville, like a lot of places, was segregated.

Mrs. Waddell sits down to tell her personal story of integration to the crew from
Bryan / College Station,  KBTX-News 3.
If you haven't seen their terrific piece, you can scroll down to watch below.
Photo by Mandy Stewart.

Even as a girl, segregation just didn't make sense to Joreen.  She remembers herself at the time as a social butterfly, a matter-of-fact girl that wouldn't really ever consider herself a 'rebel.'  She just had an honest curiosity as to why schools had to be divided.

This is the episode of, 'That Friday Show', that the Huntsville Hive produced on Civil Rights which includes Joreen Waddell as well as HHS Spanish teacher Mr. Rudy Rios.  The piece begins approximately 1:10 into the show. 

Other things around town didn't make sense to her.  She remembers that at that time,  there was a "5 & 10"' store downtown where white kids could earn money during the Christmas holidays by wrapping presents.  As a black girl, she wasn't able to apply for that job and she remembers thinking, "I could sure use some extra money." It just didn't make sense.

                Check out the KBTX-TV Story on Joreen and her personal experiences during the Civil Rights movement.

In 1965,  the Huntsville ISD school board decided to have black families have the freedom of choice as to which high school their children would attend.  Joreen spoke up and told her parents she would like to be among that first group of 11 students.  Although her parents didn't understand her interest (and feared for the difficulties that lay ahead for their daughter), they whole heartedly supported Joreen's desire to be among that first class.

At the Elective Fair:  Let's get that temp!

Joreen's experience at Huntsville High School was not without its hardships, hassles and heartbreaks, but she flourished at her new integrated high school.  And, by 1968, Huntsville Independent School District was fully integrated.

Back Row: L-R Jalynn, Missy, Noemi, Crystal and Yalery;  Middle Row: Hunter; Front Row: Maura and Merary
Just some of the CNA students that are on their way!

Now let's move forward through the years, and after Joreen has raised kids, travelled the country and a had a long and rewarding career as a nurse, she is approached by Huntsville High School to teach.

CNA Classmates and Friends.

Mrs. Waddell said "yes," and started a Certified Nursing Assistant program here at the school. 
And why do you think she did that?  
Because starting this program, one of the first of its kind here in Texas, made sense to her. 

Pick a topic, any topic!
Written on these slips you will find the procedures that the CNA students must learn as part of their course.

  Now, more than ten years later, she heads the program that gives students the chance to not only get a certification, but gain real world experience caring for residents of a nursing home here in town.  

Whaaa?!  And here we thought PROM was just a dance.
Number 16 of the 21 procedures is PROM:
Perform a Modified Passive Range of Motion Screening.
At this time of year, the students continue earning hours for the certification, but they also spend time testing themselves on the twenty one procedures that they must know backwards and forwards
to pass their certification test. 

What's the magic number?
Chelsea was one of the students checking out the CNA program at
the High School's elective fair.
Over the years, hundreds of students have earned this certificate.  It's hard, but it can be done, and for students that are interested in entering the field, it just makes sense!

At the Electives Fair: Say Ahh!

Then and now, Mrs. Waddell considers herself a pretty typical person, but talk to her students, both former and current, and you'll see a she's a pretty remarkable lady.

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