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Educator, school trustee honored during Black History Month

South Boston News / February 26, 2020

Cordelia Knox Powell was recognized Monday for her contributions to Mecklenburg County as an educator and former school board trustee. Her granddaughter, Geneva Ichaka, attended the School Board meeting Monday night to accept a plaque on Powell’s behalf. The recognition was made as part of the school division’s celebration of Black History Month.

Powell was honored because of her years of service as an educator, beginning in 1942 after she graduated from Virginia State College with a Bachelors of Science in Home Economics Education. Her first job was home economics teacher at West End High School. She later became the Assistant State Supervisor of Food Services for Southside Virginia, a position she held until her retirement in 1984.

That job required that she visit all schools to ensure the regulations were being met. She saw to it they served nutritious meals. She also served as President of the Association of Virginia Food Services during that time.

In the late 1980s Powell came out of retirement to serve as nutrition consultant for Sussex, Surry, Brunswick and Greensville counties. In this position, she worked with the parents of children in the Head Start program, teaching them how to provide proper nutrition.

Outside of school, Powell served as superintendent of Sunday school at St. Pauls Baptist Church in Boydton. She also spent five years on the Mecklenburg County School Board representing District 2, and after redistricting, District 8.

She remains a member of the NAACP and the VSU Alumni Association with an endowed scholarship in her name.

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Congratulations Mrs. Powell, you deserve this recognition. You have touched so many students in the community. You were one of my favorite teachers at the West End High School!


Congratulations Mrs Powell, I no longer live in Virginia but I remember all the things you did for the community and your kind words.I also attended Saint Paul's Baptist Church and was glad to see your smile. The best to you

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