Book preserves county’s educational history

Published 5:35 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Shirley Robertson Lee, life-long resident of Lunenburg County, will be the featured speaker at a book signing for her recently published work, Trails and Trailblazers: History of Public Education and School Desegregation in Lunenburg County, Virginia 1870-1970. The signing will be held Sunday, April 22, at 2 p.m., at Central High School of Lunenburg. Lee attended public schools in the county which remained segregated until the fall of 1969. Following desegregation of the county’s schools, she enrolled at Central High School where she completed her senior year in June 1970 as a member of the school’s first totally integrated graduating class. Lee continued her education at Virginia State College, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1977, following with a master’s degree in School Administration and Supervision from Longwood College in 1985.

Lee’s topic will be of special interest to those who have attended public schools in Lunenburg, as well as those who have been employed by the school system. Books will not be available for sale at the event. However, copies of the book are available online at and www.barnesandnoble. com. Bring books that you want to have signed.

There is a special place in Lee’s heart for increasing the knowledge and understanding of the past. She spent the last number of years researching the history of public education and school desegregation, with special concentration on how this history impacted schools in Lunenburg County. The resulting book, Trails and Trailblazers, was published in December 2017. Her work chronicles public education for a century – from 1870 when it was first mandated in the state of Virginia through 1970, the first full year of the school desegregation of Lunenburg. It examines and highlights events of yesteryear surrounding public education in Lunenburg through the eyes of former educators, students and citizens during that period.

In addition to her research and writing, Lee has a passion for the collection and preservation of historical materials, particularly information related to public education. This passion has led to the creation of an extensive collection of more than 160 photos, documents and other school-related memorabilia. The Shirley Robertson Educational Collection has been donated to the Lunenburg County Historical Society for preservation and public access. The collection will be available for public display on the day of the book signing event.

Lee resides in the Kenbridge area with her husband. They have two adult children and two grandchildren. The Lunenburg County Historical Society and the Lunenburg County Public Libraries are co-sponsoring this event, highlighting the work of Lee in preserving her county’s history.