First black elected president of Mansfield school board

05/29/2014 4:00 PM

05/29/2014 4:01 PM

Mansfield trustees took a historic step May 27, electing Michael Evans as president of the school board.

Evans is the first black person to hold the post since the Mansfield school district opened in 1909, and only the third black person to serve on the board.

“I think it’s saying something about our community,” Evans said after the board meeting. “We’re growing up. I look forward to serving all of our babies.”

Evans, who is pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, has been on the Mansfield school board since 2007.

The first black trustee elected was John Platt, who served on the board from May 1988-February 1989, followed by John Washington, who was a trustee from 1996-2005. Evans was elected to his new post at the John Washington Professional Development Center, where the school board meets.

“I talked to Mr. Washington this morning,” Evans said. “I thanked him for being a trailblazer, thanked him for his prayers.”

Things have not always been as progressive in Mansfield. In 1956, a mob formed and the governor had to call out the Texas Rangers after three black students tried to integrate Mansfield High School. The school district was desegregated in 1965, one of the last districts in the state to integrate black and white students.

Trustee Raul Gonzalez was elected as vice president of the board, and Karen Marcucci was chosen secretary.

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