PIEDMONT - T.J. Coleman. chairman for the Aubrey Stewart Project, welcomed residents and those visiting the community to attend the ceremony for “two distinguished people from our beloved Piedmont.”

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
PIEDMONT - T.J. Coleman. chairman for the Aubrey Stewart Project, welcomed residents and those visiting the community to attend the ceremony for “two distinguished people from our beloved Piedmont.”
The first one to be honored was Ida Ruth (Price) Gulliver, the last remaining school teacher at Howard High School, the all black school In Piedmont, and the first black teacher at Keyser High School.
Gulliver traveled with family members back to her hometown from Yonkers, New York, and was honored for her part in giving inspiration and encouragement to every student she taught.
Coleman said of Gulliver, “History has become part of our lives, and history chose her as a teacher at Howard Colored School.”
He said, “She was not just an ordinary person; she was exceptional and walked in the light.”
Coleman added, “Mrs. Gulliver did her job with excellence,” while also mentioning that she one-of-a kind, and never expected any reward.
Keyser mayor Damon Tillman read a resolution to recognize Gulliver from United States Senator Joe Manchin.
The words penned by Manchin said that at age 92, Gulliver “continues to be an inspiration to all,” and in the educational field, she may have not received enough credit for the vital role of teaching the children.
Giving background for Gulliver, Tillman read that she grew up on Erin Street in Piedmont, and she and her one brother and sisters walked to Howard School.
Following her high school graduation, she attended West Virginia State University, in Institute, gaining teaching degrees in home economics and physical education.
Gulliver than returned to Piedmont to teach at Howard High, and she said, “I still remember my classroom on the second floor” of the school.
In the resolution, Manchin said that she taught many students, and two of them were Don Redman, renown jazz musician, as well as Stewart, who gave his life for America.
His final words to honor Gulliver was to thank her for “your service to the students of West Virginia.”
Ben Smith, Piedmont mayor, also gave words of respect to Gulliver, and he said, “It is an honor to recognize her.”
Smith said that Gulliver graduated from Howard High in 1944, and from West Virginia State University in 1948, and taught at Howard High until 1955, when segregation took place.
He said Gulliver wanted to return to her hometown and teach, “to give back to the community and inspire hope in the students.”
She also recalled by being at Keyser High School, “I was teaching both black and white students together.”