Alice Battle

Alice Battle always knew she wanted to be a teacher. “I didn’t take education just in case. ‘Cause I always wanted to be a teacher. My sister was a teacher, Aunt Frances was a teacher, Aunt Pearl was a teacher. I had all those role models and I wanted to be a teacher too.” Inspired by the women who came before her, Alice Battle has spent her life improving education in Chapel Hill. After graduating from Lincoln High School in 1951, Ms. Battle earned her teaching credentials from North Carolina Central University and returned to Chapel Hill as an educator. During her five years teaching at Lincoln, Ms. Battle strove to provide the best education for her students, despite the underfunding and setbacks of a Jim Crow system. When desegregation finally came to Chapel Hill, thirteen years after Brown v. Board, Ms. Battle was among the first African American educators to teach in an integrated classroom at Chapel Hill High School. She spent the next twenty-five years there, working to ensure that all students would succeed, regardless of background.