Rosa Lee Carter
Rosa Lee Carter was born in Bluemont, Virginia. She earned her BA in elementary education from Storer College in West Virginia. She began her long teaching career in Loudoun at Powell's Grove in 1927. She then taught at Grant School in Middleburg, Virginia in the 1930's. Her first impression of teaching school was not a pleasant one. She noted that the disparities between black and white schools were to be a great challenge. She taught in adverse conditions, such as cold overcrowded classrooms, no water, leaky roofs and a lack of funds for books and necessities.
To create an atmosphere in her classroom that would be “helpful to living and learning,” Rosa Carter asked parents to donate furniture and books for a library corner. A bookcase and chairs were made from orange crates. They were painted by the children. A small table was donated by a parent and the books were given by members of the Community League (PTA). The children enjoyed reading in the library corner.
For many years, the two-room Grant School had overcrowded conditions. Rosa worked with the Community League to convince the School Board to rent the basement of Shiloh Baptist Church. The students in grades one and two were housed in the church basement until Benjamin Banneker School was built in 1948. Miss Carter taught at Banneker until she retired in 1978, after working tirelessly for 47 years. She then served an additional twenty years as a volunteer first grade teaching assistant at Middleburg Elementary.
Miss Carter was also active in her church and her community. She is still remembered by all as a kind, and gentle woman who through her courage, perseverance and her relentless pursuit of excellence, made a difference for so many young people in Loudoun County.