Leslie Black

The educational pathway for children must come to rest upon
the principles of a functioning democracy, according to Leslie Wooster
Black. The values educators nurture in their classrooms should be ones
that enable students to become sensitive and literate citizens.

Leslie believes a good teacher has the insight and technique to
unleash the academic and creative potential of her students, to
celebrate their diversity yet nurture a sense of community within the
group, and to connect these through gentleness, compassion and warmth.
For Leslie, a classroom should be a place that will offer freedom to
explore while providing sufficient structure to generate learning.

Leslie began her career as a kindergarten/first-grade teacher in the
Sylvania City (Ohio) school system in 1967. From 1968 to 1970, she was a
sixth-grade teacher in Columbia, Missouri and taught Head Start in
summers. She then was assigned to the migrant program in Otsego, Ohio,
from 1972 to 1976. Leslie also was a kindergarten teacher in Cache
County, Utah, from 1979 to 1987. In 1987, she was a pre-kindergarten
teacher at a private Montessori School in Alabama. In 1988, she became a
kindergarten teacher in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Since 1993 she has taught
kindergarten at a magnet school in St. Petersburg, Florida. Leslie
officially retired from Pinellas County Schools in June 2002. She is
currently leading Character Education workshops for various schools,
school districts and professional conferences.

Leslie received a Bachelor of Science Degree in education and
elementary education from Miami University of Ohio in 1967. She did
graduate course work at Bowling Green State university from 1971 to 1977
and at South Australia College of Advanced Education in 1981 in
Adelaide, Australia. She received a Masters of Education Degree from
Utah State University in 1984.

Special Recognition


“Commitment to Character” Teacher Resource Guide published by Pinellas County Schools, FL


Recorded CD “Connecting Hearts and Minds”, Character Education and learning songs for young children


“Best Classroom Practices: What Award-Winning Teachers Do” edited by Randi Stone, published by Crown Press, Inc.


Recipient of the “1994 Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame” presented by Sylvania City School, Sylvania, Ohio


“Tuscaloosa City School System’s Outstanding Educator Award” presented by University of Alabama chapter of Phi Delta Kappa


Recipient of “Women Committed to Excellence Award” sponsored by The Girl Scouts and AmSouth Bank of Tuscaloosa, AL


First recipient of “Golden Apple Award” presented by Alabama Power and WCF TV, Tuscaloose, AL


Winner and elementary school teacher inductee, Alabama Teacher Hall of Fame


Alabama State Elementary Teacher of the Year


District winner of Alabama State Teacher of the Year


Tuscaloosa City Schools Teacher of the Year


Alabama Teacher’s Hall of Fame – Elementary division winner, sponsored by Jackson State University, Jackson, AL


Nominee (One of three Alabama Elementary School finalists) for the
1991-92 “Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching”
sponsored by the National Science Foundation


Oral Language Teaching Resource for Migrant Education, published by Ohio State Department of Education