Dr. Ethel Hall was the first African American to serve as Vice President of the Alabama State Board of Education, a position she held for ten consecutive terms.
Hall was born February 23, 1928 to Fannie Mae Breeding Harris and Harry Harris, Sr. She was the oldest of five children.
Dr. Hall received degrees from Alabama A&M University, the University of Chicago, Atlanta University and the University of Alabama. After graduating college, Hall taught in the public school systems in Hale and Jefferson counties. She was also an associate professor at the University of Montevallo and the University of Alabama.
Dr. Hall became a member of the Alabama State Board of Education in January 1987, and served as the first African-American to preside over the Board as its Vice President from July 12, 1994, to July 13, 2004, until the Alabama State Board of Education unanimously bestowed the title of Vice President Emerita upon her.
Serving 24 years on the board, Dr. Hall worked through tumultuous times that saw the board become the focal point of heated and prolonged battles over a host of issues including funding levels for schools, teacher testing, accountability standards for schools and school districts, as well as academic standards for students.
She co-authored her challenges and contributions through the publication of the book, My Journey, describing her life. Hall was the recipient of well over 200 distinguished awards and was recognized for her life’s work by statesmen, classroom teachers, celebrities, and fellow State Board members. Dr. Ethel H. Hall passed away on November 12, 2011.