Dr. Rosie M. Collins Sorrells
Dr. Sorrells is an advocate for children, families and public-school education. Whether she is working to ensure that children receive the quality of education they need and deserve or encouraging others to get involved in the mission to support public school education in their community. She is a consistent advocate for children, families and for the active involvement of those she comes in contact within her pursuit of quality and excellence in public school education.
She is a graduate of Anderson High School, Austin, Texas. Her undergraduate work was done at Howard Un., Washington, D.C. and Huston-Tillotson College in Austin. She holds a B.S. Degree from Huston-Tillotson. H-T was a very special place for her, because H-T is where she met and married Hilliard B. Sorrells. She earned her M.S. Degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce, TX. & Ed.D. from Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX. The excellent preparation and broad skill set she received from her studies at these institutions, prepared her for a boundless pursuit of professional achievement.
Dr. Sorrells began her teaching career in Luling, Texas in 1959. She taught at various grade levels for six years and in Head Start Program for one year. At the end of five years, Dr. Sorrells and her husband moved to Dallas, Texas, but Dallas ISD policies would not permit husband and wife to work in the District. Therefore, Dr. Sorrells taught in Wilmer Hutchins ISD, Hutchins, Texas. She taught preschoolers (ages 4 and 5) at Pierce Elementary School. While teaching in Wilmer-Hutchins, she was voted “Teacher of the Year”.
In the late 60’s, Rosie received a Master of Science Degree in Elementary Education from East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas. By that time, DISD had changed its policies to allow husband and wife to work in the district. She accepted a teaching position in DISD as multi-age teacher (ages 5-7) at City Park Elementary School. At the end of the second year, she was selected as intern-administrator for Early Childhood Education. In that position, she provided training for teachers and administrators and also developed curriculum materials.
In 1976, she was selected to assist in designing a management plan for implementing the Desegregation Court Order. Several years later, she was selected as Director for Early Childhood Education (Prek-Gr. 3). Her responsibilities included curriculum/instruction/ staff development & technical assistance for over 3000 teachers and assistants on 135 campuses with over 50,000 prek-3 students. To enhance her knowledge and leadership skills, she participated in educational study tours such as: British Infant Schools in Europe and also Urban School District across the US.
Her legacy in DISD includes: implementation of ECE Center/School Concept based on the 1976 Desegregation Court Order and design/development of Teaching & Learning Connection (TLC) Curriculum. The TLC Interdisciplinary Curriculum Guides were presented at conferences, school districts and publishing companies across the US.
In 1993, she retired from DISD. Upon her retirement, DISD’s ECE Department honored her by establishing The Dr. Rosie Sorrells Scholarship Fund @ Texas A&M, Commerce for majors in Early Childhood & Elementary Education.
In 1994, she was elected to a four year term on the Texas State Board of Education, representing District 13 (School Districts in Dallas & Tarrant County) and was re-elected in 1998 to serve another term. She served as SBOE Secretary for four years.
During her career, she served on many committees and boards, such as: United Way of TX; TX Commission on Children & Youth; LIFT; Goals for Dallas; Dallas County Juvenile Board; Mayor’s Child Care Task Force; Dallas Assoc. for Ed. of Young Children; TEA Task Force on ECE; Urban Ed. Studies – Nat’l Council of Great City Schools; TX Head Start Collaboration Project; State Textbook Committee; National Goals for Ed. Panel – US Department of Education Goals for The Eighties.; National Association for State Boards of Education (NASBE); Texans CAN! Academy School Board; Dallas Achieve Commission for Dallas ISD & DISD’s Superintendent’s Advisory Committee. She serves on The McNeil Educational Foundation Board of Directors. Organizational memberships include: St. Luke ‘Community’ UMC; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Huston-Tillotson Un. Alumni; TX A&M UN. Alumni; NAACP; Texas Woman’s Un. Alumni; SAGE, CASE & AA Archives & History Program.
Her awards/ honors include: Teacher of the Year – Wilmer Hutchins ISD; Texas Educator of the Month – Texas School Business Magazine; Phi Delta Kappa Newsletter Award; Celebrate Literacy Award – IRA; Elected Official Of The Year – TX Assoc. for Ed. of Young Children; Outstanding Texan – TX Legislative Black Caucus; Yvonne Ewell Outstanding Ed. Award – Urban League; 2000 – Distinguished Alumni for Texas Woman’s University; Educator’s Hall Of Fame – African American Archives & History Prog; OLCAA Alumni Hall of Fame – Austin, TX.
In recognition of a lifetime of service to children and public education, Dallas School Board named a magnet high school at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center in her honor – Rosie Collins Sorrells School of Education & Social Services.
Dr. Sorrells and H.B. Sorrells, educator (deceased) have one daughter, LaZette Sorrells Kellum, RN., (Derick) and one grandson, Collin. Dr. Sorrells continues her involvement in numerous endeavors.