BEDFORD, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam visited the Susie G. Gibson Science and Technology Center in Bedford on Wednesday.
The school is named after Susie Gibson, who was Bedford County’s supervisor of African-American education from 1926 until her death 22 years later.
Northam helped break ground on a new sign for the school, which recently changed its name from Bedford Science and Technology Center.
It’s actually a change back to its original namesake. Up until 1970, the school was Susie G. Gibson High School, and it was an all-Black school before Bedford County fully integrated the school system.
“We have such a great history of those on whose shoulders we stand on today,” said Northam, “and to be able to honor a former educator that was such an important part of this community by reinstating the name on the school means so much. We have to understand where we’ve been to know where we’re going.”
The center offers high school students career and technical courses. Northam also took time on Wednesday, May 5 to tour the building, speaking with students in the cosmetology department about how the school helps train and prepare them for their careers.
“I’m just very thankful that she got to come out and see our school,” said Karlee Adcock, a cosmetology student. “Hopefully, she sees the pride we take in not just our program but in all the work that we do here, and all the love that really is in the building and the growth that they encourage.”
Several of the students, including Adcock, shared with Northam that they recently took their state boards and are waiting for the results.