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dr. jo evans lynn



Jo Evans Lynn, EdD. is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina Growing up in the Morningside Homes Projects, she developed a clear understanding of what it takes for an individual to move from poverty to success. She says, “I never knew we were poor until my second-grade teacher told me. My parents worked hard to make sure that all seven of us kids were well clothed and well fed. The entire “village” of adults took part in raising the children of the Morningside Homes community.

Education was an essential aspect of my childhood.  My mother bought us those Golden Story Books from the A&P, and Daddy read the newspaper aloud to us every morning and evening. We were required to learn a new Bible verse to recite after grace every evening at supper. Only siblings under age three could recite short verses such as “Jesus wept.”  My parents didn’t tolerate any grade less than a “B.” Back then, we got a letter grade for conduct, and Daddy let us know that we didn’t have to be smart to sit there and act like we had sense. This kind of environment produced a registered nurse, two teachers, a Certified Public Accountant, a counselor, an office manager, a brick mason, and a landscaper.”


Lynn taught nearly every grade level and every form of English/language art during her 37 years in education. Jo Evans Lynn graduated from James B. Dudley High School in 1967 and Shaw University in 1970. She also received Certification as a Reading Education Specialist from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1975, a master’s degree in Reading Education from North Carolina A&T State University in 1982, Certification as a Writing Educator as a North Carolina Writing Fellow at  Wake Forest University in 1984, National Board Certification as a Master Teacher (2003), and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Walden University in 2013.  She began her teaching career teaching middle school in Charlotte Courthouse, Virginia in 1972, but spent most of the early years of her teaching career in the Alamance County Schools teaching Title I Reading at Clover Garden Elementary School (9 years) and Reading Competency/College Prep English at Eastern Alamance High School (5 years). In 1987, she transferred and continued teaching Title I Reading, English, Journalism, Drama, and Speech & Debate at various high schools in the Greensboro City & Guilford County Schools in Greensboro, North Carolina (Grimsley Senior High School-10 years, James B. Dudley Senior High School-8 years, & GTCC Early/Middle College at Jamestown –2 years, Smith Academy-1 year).


After, nearly 24 years as a teacher, Lynn finally was presented with an opportunity to teach at Dudley. She said, “When Mr. Lewis called me about an opening in the English Department at Dudley, I did not have to think twice about transferring. When I graduated from Shaw University in December of 1970, there was a waiting list of teachers who were already in the Greensboro City Schools System who wanted to teach English at Dudley. Although I loved all my other teaching assignments, finally having an opportunity to teach at my Alma Mata was a rewarding opportunity. It was worth the wait.”


Throughout her teaching career, Lynn always put into action the belief instilled in her while she attended Dudley: a broad education takes place during activities beyond the classroom. While a student at Dudley, she was a member of the French National Honor Society, the Student Government as a Junior and Senior Class Representative, the Senior Safety Patrols, and a Library Assistant. She played trombone in the band at Lincoln Junior High School and one year at Dudley.


As an elementary teacher, Lynn served as PTA president at Clover Garden Elementary School, Alamance County Teacher’s Association School Representative and Treasurer.  As a secondary teacher, Lynn wrote grants, secured funding and established a College Tour for disadvantaged students, resulting in 84% of touring students matriculating into post-secondary programs. She also created an Historically Black College Information Center and an Awards Program at Grimsley Senior High School producing a significant increase in the number of minority students attending college and advance technical training programs. At Grimsley Senior High School, she also served as an advisor to the Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering Organization and the Grimsley Step Team. Lynn also and taught seventh grade English for several years in the Greensboro Area Math and Science Center Saturday Academy and Summer Programs at North Carolina A&T State University. At Dudley, she helped revive the Dudley Thespians and Panther’s Claw Newspaper and coached the High I.Q. Team.  She researched and wrote the initial application for James B. Dudley High School to be listed as a National Historic Site and for the Auxiliary Gymnasium to be named The G. E. Dye Multiplex Athletic Building after Georgene E. Dye. Lynn wrote a new Teachers Manuel, Survival Kit for New Teachers resulting in a 28% improvement in the retention rate for new teachers at James B. Dudley High School. Former students nominated her for Who’s Who Among Teachers (1995, 2002, 2003 & 2005).


In the community, Lynn has been a member of Wells Memorial COGIC since 1957 serving as a member of the first Youth Usher Board, Sunday School teacher, Trustee Board Member, Prayer Clinic Anthology Editor, and feature writer, At the Wells Newsletter Editor, layout and feature writer. Lynn was one of the founding members and co-chairperson of The Committee to Save Dudley, Carolina Regional Transitional Care, Inc. grant writer and program facilitator, and Council of Elders Foundation program writer and facilitator. She also wrote the book The Art of the Hustle: Lessons in Becoming A Man based on interviews with 15 male mentors. The revenue from sales of the book is used to support the programs and activities sponsored by the Council of Elders Foundation. Nationally, Lynn was one of three finalists for SECME National Teacher of the Year and wrote the first Treatment Program for youth and young adults with behavior disorders accepted under the more stringent 2014 Federal Guidelines (Glasshouse Counseling Center, Los Vegas, NV). Lynn also volunteered for Organizing for America 2012 as a Field Operative- Registering voters, and Get Out the Vote supplying Transportation to Polls, 2011-2016.


Her diverse experiences as a language arts teacher reinforced her belief that even fiction should be based on real-life experiences. In all of her books, the reader shares her experiences during the 1950s & 1960s as an African-American child growing up on the “Colored” side of town in the segregated South and as a teen searching for a place in the world around her in which the rules of life and social order are changing almost daily. Although her subjects are sometimes both serious and controversial, her sense of humor and spiritual faith always shine through as she “speaks” to her readers about the realities of growing up poor and as the second eldest of seven children. Lynn’s first nonfiction book, A Place Where Success Was Expected, features James B. Dudley High School. She is the divorced mother of three adult children- Janel L. Johnson, Clyde Lynn, III, and Gloria A. Lynn and one granddaughter, Paige LaShea Jen.

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