Sparked with such fervor and passion in 1988 after attending his second National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) conference, and being astounded and fascinated by the relevance of the workshops, the pedigree of the speakers and the work ethic of the conferees, Lemeul Stephens began to discuss with a few of his colleagues the need for a South Carolina Affiliate to NABSE. As a result of such collegial discussion, the inception of SCABSE began to materialize. During the summer of 1989 Lemeul was granted permission by his office director, at the South Carolina Department of Education, to pitch the formation of an affiliate at the State Superintendent’s Conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. From this presentation and from a few other interested colleagues, a core group was formed and began to meet at the Department of Education. The heart of this group was comprised of the following persons; Alfred Butler (Deceased), Freddie Davy (Deceased), Bettye Lesane, Gwen Smith, Joseph Watson, Joseph Rice, Odell Stuckey, and William Gunn.
After completing the NABSE application and filing with the South Carolina Secretary of State, the South Carolina Alliance of Black School Educators was incorporated December 20, 1990. The following persons met the conditions established by the core group and are duly acknowledged as CHARTER members of SCABSE: Lemeul Stephens, President; Odell Stuckey-Vice President; Betty Lesane, Recording Secretary; Gwen Smith, Corresponding Secretary; Joe Rice-Treasurer and Margie Pearson-Jackson (Deceased), Historian and Parliamentarian. At-Large members included, Vivian Brackett, Al Butler (Deceased), Freddye Davy (Deceased), William Gunn, Betty Gunter, Marjorie McIver, Pat Phillips, Aretha Pigford, Wallace Richardson, Jackie Stanley, Malinda Taylor, Joe Watson and Steve Wilson.
Since it’s beginning, SCABSE has significantly increased its membership and has been able to generate the support of the business community as well as educational and governmental leaders throughout South Carolina and some parts of North Carolina and Georgia.
SCABSE continues to serve as a foundation that provides a vision for all persons who are interested in the education of African-American youth. The organization is committed to the recruiting and training of teachers, administrators and educational support personnel. SCABSE is also committed to providing a forum for sharing knowledge related to educational issues affecting South Carolina’s African-Americans. Because of the vision and dedication of its founders, the strong leadership, commitment and devotion of its officers (past and present) and its members, SCABSE continues to rally for causes that improve and equalize educational quality. These causes are championed via the annual SCABSE Winter Conference, the Satellite Alliances, workshops, and professional development opportunities.
With utmost gratitude, The South Carolina Alliance of Black School Educators applaud it founders for their passion and vision for realizing the need to organize a group of dedicated professionals committed to being advocates for quality education for all children in South Carolina, especially its youth. Your generosity, perseverance, continued support and guidance are duly noted and we “SALUTE” you.