Shirley Cherry is a retired English teacher and high school teacher/librarian, who taught in public schools in Alabama, Georgia, and Rhode Island. She is a graduate of Dr. Ralph J. Bunche High School in Canton, Georgia, Tuskegee Institute (university) (B.S. Degree), and the University of Rhode Island (M.L.S. Degree). She served two terms as Chair of the National Education Association’s (NEA’s) Resolutions Committee, and two terms as Secretary of NEA Rhode Island. Additionally, she has served as a judge and advisor for the Miss Rhode Island Pageant.
In Newport, Rhode Island, Shirley founded an annual Black History Bowl in 1994; won the George T. Downing Award for promoting racial and social harmony; reactivated the Newport County NAACP Youth Council; founded the Reverend Robert L. Williams Memorial Scholarship; founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Black History Bowl; and served on the Board of Directors of Newport County Child and Family Services. She also served on several evaluation and accreditation teams for the New England Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and has been a guest speaker/lecturer on many occasions in New England and in Alabama.
Since June of 2008, Shirley has been working hard in Montgomery, Alabama, where she is presently serving as the Tour Director of the Dexter Parsonage Museum (DPM), home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1954 to 1960. At the Museum, she has had the magnificent opportunity of teaching people from all over the world about the “Kingian Legacy” of peace, love, non-violence, and commitment.
In her spare time, Shirley enjoys gardening, swimming, reading, writing, traveling, visiting historical sites, and spending time with family and friends. She is excited about the prospect of working with the Board of Directors of the Friends of Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, Inc., and helping to promote the wonderful history, merit, and stellar legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen and all that they courageously represent and represented.