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Wrong Cleola Boles?

Miss Cleola Boles

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Background Information

Employment History

Head Teacher of the Head Start Program

one time


Philander Smith College


Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church


Dunbar High School

Web References

When a committee of 13 began ...

www.wesleychapelumclr.com [cached]

When a committee of 13 began meeting to plan the 2007 Wesley Chapel Scholarship Fund drive and activities, one major decision had already been made: Miss Cleola Boles was to be the honoree.

A better choice could not have been made. Even as a child, Miss Boles had a healthy respect for the value of education. She begged her parents to send her to college, and in 1938, after graduating top of her class of 9 from Dunbar High School in Center Point, Arkansas, Cleola Boles came to Philander Smith College.
She arrived on a schoolbus with $15.00, a box of meat, and an assortment of canned fruit as part of her tuition. She worked in the cafeteria to earn the rest of the money needed to stay in school.
An illness in her junior year forced Miss Boles to return to Center Point. After recuperating, she obtained her teaching license and began to teach first grade. It was several years before she could come back to Philander Smith, but she did return. She graduated in 1953, with a major in Education and Home Economics.
Cleola Boles taught first grade in the North Little Rock School District for 38 years. During that time she also spent 17 years teaching adult education classes and night classes for veterans; and she served at one time as head teacher of the Head Start Program.
Even after retiring, Miss Boles continued to support education and her beloved Philander Smith. Students’ anticipation of her visits may have been largely because of the food she brought, but they also realized that she was doing her part to help them stay in school.
Miss Boles is well-known in the area for her culinary skills. As the middle child of her parents’ 11 children, she learned to cook at an early age and later taught herself to bake. Her cakes, cookies, and pies are especially familiar to those at Wesley Chapel and throughout the community.
Miss Boles first came to Wesley Chapel when she was a student at Philander Smith. After graduating and settling in North Little Rock she joined McCabe UMC. When transportation to Little Rock became available, she returned to Wesley Chapel, where she has been a member ever since.
On September 16 An Evening of Praise was held at the church in honor of Miss Boles and in support of the scholarship fund by way of a freewill offering. More than $8,000 had been raised at press time.

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