Former Tulsa educator Amelia Louis Swain Alford will be inducted into the Oklahoma African-American Educators, Inc. Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held at 7 PM on September 28, 2018 at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Mrs. Alford was born in Clearview, Oklahoma on November 30. 1923 to Lloyd V. and Rosie Swain. She attended Clearview Elementary School and graduated from Clearview High School. She enrolled at Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 1945.
At 22 years old, she was assigned to her first teaching job in 1945 at Waurika Elementary School in Waurika, Oklahoma. She taught there for two years followed by a two-year stint at Davis Elementary School. She was then assigned to Tullahassee Elementary and she remained there for six years. Again, she was assigned to a new school, Bartlesville Elementary, where she taught six years. Her next teaching jobs were at IXL, Slick, and Tulsa Dunbar Elementary Schools. After integration, she accepted her final teaching assignment at Mark Twain Elementary in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She remained there until she retired in 1984 after 39 years of service in her profession.
She continued to be an integral part of her community post retirement. In 1981, she and her (late) husband, Romeo Alford, Sr. founded the Clearview Rodeo. Their goal was to revitalize the community and bring former and current residents together in an annual event. The rodeo continues to be a major draw for visitors to join with residents and promote the town of Clearview. Mrs. Alford is the business manager and continues to work diligently each year to ensure its success. She also advises concession vendors and assists with producing the rodeo brochure.
She is a member of Flipper A.M.E. Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she has served in various capacities during her 60-year membership. Some of her duties have included secretary, treasurer, trustee, choir leader, and Sunday School Teacher. She is also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Omega Chapter #106.
The majority of her career was spent instructing in all-Black schools with antiquated teaching materials that were often passed down after the all-White schools had used them. She made the best use of the materials and supplemented when necessary; it was often necessary.
She believed that most of her students’ learning was the result of peer-to-peer social interactions; therefore. So, she designed her classroom to facilitate cooperative learning in the classroom setting. She ensured that learning was not competitive; instead, it was collaborative – allowing for all students to achieve and excel.
Her classroom management skills were unsurpassed. Her colleagues often sought her out for advice on classroom management. She willingly advised and mentored her fellow teachers whenever and wherever she could.
She and her (late) husband, Romeo J. Alford, Sr. were married for 47 years. To their union was born a son, Romeo J. Alford. Jr. She is also mother-in-law to Brenda and grandmother to Jordan.
Amelia Louis Swain Alford is considered by many to be a trail-blazer in her profession. She entered the profession during an era when African-American teachers faced challenges and circumstances unparallel to their white counterparts. She graciously accepted the challenges and overcame the circumstances.
Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame President, Dr. Donnie L. Nero, Sr., encourages the public to attend this prestigious event, especially community leaders and former students of this influential inductee. For more information about tickets, phone 918-698-6037.