Honoring Elwin Dickerson’s Teaching Legacy During Black History Month – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In this Sunday’s Spotlight and in honor of Black History Month, we feature a retired educator.

But Elwin Dickerson was more than just a teacher.

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He became the first black male kindergarten teacher in the Uniontown School District in 1972. He was a kindergarten teacher at Craig Elementary School, now an apartment complex.


(Photo Courtesy Elwin Dickerson)

But Elwin says being a teacher hasn’t been easy because he’s a 6’2” African-American who weighs 220 pounds.

During his undergraduate years at the University of California, Elwin said professors made it difficult for him to get a pass, and some even advised him to move out of the program.

When he took his first job in the Uniontown School District as a kindergarten teacher, parents tried to kick him out and watch him teach outside their classroom doors.

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In the end, parents and students accepted Elwin and his innovative teaching style.

He says he hopes his students learn and apply his biggest lesson – acceptance.

Elwin’s educational career did not end there. He returned to earn his doctorate at West Virginia University. He later became a professor of early childhood education at the University of California.

He’s been retired for 16 years now. However, he still keeps in touch with former students – one is his chiropractor and the other is his dentist.

Of course, he misses teaching, but now he watches his former students pass on the lessons and live their dreams.

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I also wrote a book, “Insights into the Power of Peace.” Honoring Elwin Dickerson’s Teaching Legacy During Black History Month – CBS Pittsburgh


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