Mrs. Braboy taught Math and Latin for more than fifty years. She taught at Jones for almost thirty years. She was the first African American teacher in Orlando with a bachelor of arts degree. Mrs. Braboy was known for being stern and strict, but her students remembered her fondly. She retired from teaching in 1976 at the age of 94. She died in 1982, at the age of 100.
Barbara P. Burns
Barbara is a graduate of Holden Street Elementary School and Jones High School Class of 1964. She received a B.A. Degree in Mathematics from Florida A & M University. Barbara has spent 33 years of her life teaching secondary Mathematics. Her first teaching experience was in 1972 at Memorial Junior High School in San Diego, California. Her next teaching position was in 1976 at Liberty Junior High School in Orlando, Florida. The last 26 years of her teaching career has been at Jones High School.
While at Jones High School, she has been the Mathematics Department Chairperson for over 16 non-consecutive years. She organized the Math Club and the Trig Hotline. She has been the Senior Class Sponsor and Coronation Director. Her first extracurricular activity job was Assistant to Mr. James W. Wilson, Band Director. She was in charge of the Majorettes, Flag Corps, and Color Guards for seven years.
After retiring as Assistant Band Director, she started travel with Mrs. Ernestine Embry as a chaperone for the cheerleaders. It was not long before she became Head Cheerleader Coach. This job would take her on a 12-year journey of fundraising, cheerleader camps, and bus rides to various athletic activities.
Barbara was nominated as Jones High School Teacher of the Year in 1986 and 1996. She cherishes this honor which her colleagues bestowed upon her. Barbara is a member of Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church. She is the training coordinator for the Mass Usher Board and a member of the Trustee Board. She holds membership in the following organizations: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Florida A & M University National Alumni Association, Classroom Teachers Association (CT A), Orange County Classroom Teachers of Math (OCCTM), Jones High Alumni Association, Class of 64 Reunion President, National Education Association (NEA), ASCD's African American Critical Issues Network, Sisters Network (cancer survivors) and Benjamin Banner Society.
Thelma Dudley (1925-2001)
Thelma Dudley began her teaching career in 1947 at Jones High School, where she taught for more than twenty years. In 1972, she ran for Orange County School Board, District 6. Prior to that, she was the president of the Orange County English Teachers Council, a committee chairman of the Classroom Teachers Association, and was a chairman of the Friends of the Library. She also taught at Valencia Community College. She retired from Valencia in 1979. In 1993, she earned her doctorate from the University of Central Florida, at the age of 70. She died in 2001, at the age of 76.
Ernestine Emery (1920-)
Ernestine Emery was born in 1920. She attended Jones High School. Emery obtained a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Bethune Cookman. Mrs. Emery taught physical education at Jones High School for nearly 60 years.
Rudolph Gripper (1903-1984)
Gripper was a social studies teacher who taught at the old and new Jones schools. He began teaching at Jones in the early 1930s. He was a committee member with the Orlando Negro Chamber of Commerce.
Linda Reddick (1914-2004)
Linda Reddick was a beloved English teacher at Jones High School. She was born in Georgia in 1914. She moved to Orlando in the 1940s and began teaching at Jones High School. She also taught at Edgewater High School. Reddick was the first African American president of the Orange County Teachers of English organization. She also founded the Orlando chapter of Girl Friends Inc., one of the oldest civic organizations in the world for African American women. Reddick also wrote a newspaper article for The Orlando Times that focused on the African American community and projects.
Mattie L. Starke (1905-1998)
Mattie L. Starke was a Jones High School librarian. Her husband, Dr. George Starke, tended to Harriette Moore, wife of civil rights pioneer Harry T. Moore, after the infamous Christmas eve KKK bombing of their home in 1951 during which Harry T. Moore died. Harriette passed away in the hospital nine days later. In 1958, Mattie’s son, George H. Starke, was the first African American admitted to University of Florida Law School. He also served in the Air Force. In 1958, Mattie L. Starke was chosen as “Teacher of the Week” by the students of Jones.
Pictured: Mattie L. Starke’s painting hangs in the Jones High School Museum.
Omega Jones (1916-2002)
Omega Jones was born and raised in Eatonville, Florida. She received a bachelor’s degree in home economics with a minor in science from Florida A&M University. She was the first person in her family to attend college. Omega Jones taught at Jones High School for nearly 30 years. She first began teaching in 1939 at the “old Jones High School” at Washington Street and Parramore Avenue. Jones was the chairman of the home economics department. She also taught science at Jones High School. She was a founding member of the Orlando Beta Xi chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, a teacher’s sororiety. Mrs. Jones taught briefly at Apopka High School before retiring in 1968. She passed away in 2002 at the age of 86.
Thelma Cosby Wilkins (1906-2001)
Thelma Cosby Wilkins lived nearly her entire life in a small house on Parramore Avenue. She attended Johnson Academy and later Jones High School in Orlando. She first began teaching at Jones in the early 1930s. She continued to teach in Orange County for the next 40 years. Her brother Felix recalled that she always told her students, “This is your city, and you can help build it to make it better.” After she retired from teaching in 1971, she became the first African American juvenile counselor in Orange County. She passed away in 2001 at the age of 95.