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Wheeler, Susie Weems (1917-) | Kennesaw State University Archives

Name: Wheeler, Susie Weems (1917-)

Historical Note:

Susie Weems Wheeler was born in the Pine Grove area of Bartow County, Georgia, on February 24, 1917. Her father was a tenant farmer who died when Dr. Wheeler was 8 years old. Her mother, Cora Smith Weems, worked as a laundress and domestic worker. She later married Oscar Canty. Wheeler was the youngest of three children. Her cousin, Bennie Reuben Smith, was also raised as part of the family. When Wheeler was 2 years old, the family moved to the Cassville area.

Dr. Wheeler attended elementary school at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Cassville, where her grandfather served as Deacon, and Noble Hill, a Rosenwald school. She attended Summer Hill in Cartersville through the ninth grade and graduated from Cabin Creek High School, a boarding school in Griffin, Georgia, in 1935. Immediately after graduation, Dr. Wheeler received a teaching license and taught school in Calhoun, Georgia, and at the Adairsville School in Bartow County. She received a bachelor's degree from Fort Valley State College in 1945, a 6th year Education specialist's certificate from the University of Kentucky, a 6th year Education specialist's degree from the University of Georgia, and a doctorate degree from Atlanta University.

Dr. Wheeler worked as a Jeanes supervisor in Bartow, Gordon, and Pauling Counties before the creation of the integrated Bartow County School District in the mid-1960s. She was integral to the successful integration of the schools. Jeanes supervisors acted as superintendents for rural African American schools, working to improve classroom teaching and resources, lunch programs, student health, parental involvement, and teacher recruitment. The program was started by Anna T. Jeanes, a Quaker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Wheeler retired as a Curriculum Director in 1979.

Susie Wheeler married Dan Wheeler in 1941. The couple had one son in 1950. In addition to her career and family, she was instrumental in saving the Noble Hill School building, which became the Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial. Dr. Wheeler died on July 22, 2007.

Sources: KSU/45/05/001, Kennesaw State University Oral history project, Series 6: North Georgia Oral history series, Sub-Series 2: Electronic documents, Item 3: Interview with Dr. Susie W. Wheeler, 2000-03-03
Note Author: Anne M. Graham

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