Carolyn I. Patterson

Areas of Achievement: 

Honored By

Honored by: Patterson, Richard
Date submitted: May 03, 2011
Gift: General Gift

Honored on the African American Women's Arch.

Carolyn always loved helping people to learn. As a third grader, she assisted a German student to read and speak English. Later she would sit the neighborhood kids on the church steps and teach them everything she had learned in school. It was so much fun!

She was born and raised in Middletown, Ohio. After high school, she was fortunate to enroll in Central State University (HBCU) in Wiberforce, OH, and earned her B.S. in Elementary Education. She married and moved to Indiana and continued to teach school. While there, she became Education Director for the Head Start Program in Richmond and surrounding counties. She developed and implemented education curriculum to comply with federal guidelines. She also taught at a community college for a short time. All the while, teaching school during the day.

After a move to San Diego, Carolyn continued teaching and earned her M.A. in Curriculum Writing and Instruction. While in San Diego, she was on the steering committee created to design and implement court-ordered integration procedures. She bussed her students to a neighborhood school with a large minority population. Following her husband to Tucson, AZ in 1984, she earned her Education Specialist Degree in Elementary Administration from University of Arizona. Later, she was appointed as Principal at Erickson Elementary. While there, she implemented the PeaceBuilders Program to teach students to get along with each other. Students took this Program to their parents and neighborhood. After 4 years she was appointed to Wrightstown Elementary. Carolyn was considered by her supervisors as a change agent to bring her schools in alignment with Tucson Unified School District guidelines.

As a member of Jack and Jill America, Carolyn supervised the implementation of a reading program held in several churches on Saturdays. Enjoying her membership in Tucson Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, Carolyn co-chairs the Arts Facet which supports cultural performances of people of color. She is presently on the advisory council of African American Studies Department (TUSD) and Africana Studies Advisory Council at the UA.

Carolyn faced obstacles along her journey: she was the first African American hired by Armco Steel Corporation (OH) in the Personnel Department, and worked there during summers while in college, first African American teacher in several schools throughout her teaching career.

Carolyn has been recognized for her teaching abilities and her leadership abilities over the span of 38 years of public service.

She enjoys her friends, reading, dancing and taking short trips. She is married to Richard "Butch" and has one son, Eric.