Black History Month Banner Program Honoree: Annie Ruth Campbell
Annie Ruth Campbell was born in Macon, Georgia, in 1922. Annie Ruth began attending Talladega College in 1938, where she met her future-husband “T.P.” Campbell. After graduating in 1942 with her A.B. in mathematics and chemistry, Annie Ruth went on to earn her Master’s Degrees in both Library Science and Advanced Library and Media Studies from Atlanta University, and Florida State University, respectively. She and T.P. wed in 1944 prior to T.P. being deployed to the European Theater in WWII. After the war Annie Ruth and T.P. began teaching high school at Tivoli High School in DeFuniak Springs. During her tenure at Tivoli, Annie Ruth worked collaboratively with T.P. and the science faculty to improve academic offerings for students. She initiated “pull out” programs which placed talented seventh and eight grade students in advanced math and science classes. Its success was evident by the improved performance of Tivoli students on state and national standardized tests. Annie Ruth was the primary mathematics instructor for almost all of the students at Tivoli who later attended college between 1945 and 1968. In addition to teaching college preparatory mathematics at Tivoli High School, Annie Ruth created the Library Program as well. She developed a curriculum that allowed students to work in the library while learning the fundamentals of library science. She and her student assistants expanded the use of the library materials in grades 1-12 at Tivoli. Annie Ruth left Tivoli in 1968 during the statewide teacher walkout. The walkout was related to working and pay disparities between the Black FSTA teachers union and the predominately white FEA teachers’ union employees. Annie Ruth continued her career in neighboring Okaloosa County. She retired from education in 1989. Actively engaged in numerous religious, civic, and social organizations in the community. Annie Ruth passed away in 2010.