Ms. Chapman at 106: Teaching, Learning, and Inspiring Across Generations

Three years ago, the Randolph County Training School (RCTS) community was touched by a heartfelt expression of pride and affection from one of its most esteemed educators, Ms. Countess John Chapman. At 103 years old, her words, "You all have made me so proud, and I love you," resonated deeply, reminding us of the enduring impact of a dedicated teacher.

On Monday, March 25, 2024, marks a momentous occasion as Ms. Chapman celebrates her 106th birthday. Renowned not only as the oldest surviving graduate of the RCTS Rosenwald descendant school, class of 1938, but also as a cherished teacher, her life's work embodies the spirit of RCTS. Captured in a photograph alongside Mary Doris Alford, class of 1958, Ms. Chapman's smile reflects the joy and pride of a lifetime devoted to education.

Ms. Chapman's journey alongside fellow luminaries like Dr. Ben Outland has positioned them as revered figures in Alabama and across the nation. Her accolades are numerous, spanning from the RCTS Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Education Association's Outstanding Achievement Award to a city proclamation in Roanoke, where Countess Place stands as a tribute to her contributions.

A poignant highlight of her legacy was her presence at the inaugural RCTS scholarship award in 2005. This year, as we prepare to award our 100th scholarship, it is nothing short of miraculous that Ms. Chapman continues to grace us with her presence. Her life and work remain a beacon of inspiration, illustrating the profound impact one individual can have on their community and beyond.

As we celebrate Ms. Chapman, we are reminded of the values that define RCTS: dedication, community, and the power of education. Her legacy is a testament to the difference one person can make, and it continues to inspire us all.

2021 Thank You Card from beloved RCTS teacher Ms. Countess John Chapman at the age 103 - the oldest surviving graduate of the RCTS Rosenwald descendant school (class of 1938) and teacher