Dr. Arlene W. Clinkscale is a role model and ground-breaker in the world of education in Rockland County. Not only was she the first African American school teacher hired in Pearl River, but she was also the first Black female principal in Rockland, and Nyack made her the first African American woman selected as superintendent of a public school district in New York State. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Richmond, VA, Dr. Clinkscale knew even as a young girl that she wanted a career in teaching.
The African American Historical Society of Rockland County (AAHS) honors Dr. Clinkscale for her many years of service and as of 2019 will establish The Dr. Arlene Clinkscale Education Initiative that will be dedicated to researching the history of education in Rockland County, New York and sharing resources for teachers regarding the history of African American education. The resources will also include links to professional development centered on teaching about the African Diaspora and programs and events that highlight the contributions of African Americans, especially in Rockland County to the field of education.
Much of our work will be accessible to the public through the AAHS website, through public programming and various other media. The AAHS will also begin work with others in the county to establish the Dr. Arlene Clinkscale archives that will be shared with local libraries.
Explore more about the legacy of Dr. Clinkscale:
1st African American Teacher in Pearl River
1st African American Female Principal in Rockland County
1st African American Female School Superintendent in NY State
Dr. Arlene W. Clinkscale is a role model and ground-breaker in the world of education in Rockland County. Not only was she the first African American school teacher hired in Pearl River, but she was also the first Black female principal in Rockland, and Nyack made her the first African American woman selected as superintendent of a public school district in New York State. Born in Brooklyn…
Nyack Education Pioneer Arlene Clinkscale
Superwoman of Public Education
Rockland Women Leaders Hall of Fame
New York Heritage Digital Collections
Arlene Clinkscale Oral History Interview Part 1: Early Life, Family, Education, and Coming to Rockland County
Arlene Clinkscale discusses her early life and family, her educational background, coming to Pearl River to work as a teacher in 1960, and the struggle to find housing as an African American in Pearl River, NY in the early 1960s.
Arlene Clinkscale Oral History Interview Part 2: Church, Overcoming Obstacles, Community Involvement, and Perspectives on Education Today
Arlene Clinkscale discusses church and her work as the first African American woman to become a Superintendent of Schools in New York State and going back to work as a principal in Englewood at the end of her career.
Arlene Clinkscale Oral History Interview Part 3: The Bridge Builder
Arlene Clinkscale remembers growing up in Virginia, her parents, and the span of her career in education.
Arlene Clinkscale On Teaching And Coming To Rockland
Actor Lawrence Saint-Victor of the soap opera “Guiding Light” fame with Board of Trustees President Dr. Arlene Clinkscale at 25th RCC Foundation Anniversary Spotlight Awards. 2007
Dr. Arlene Clinkscale, Board member of the African American Historical Society of Rockland County and past President and Board member of RCC
2012- Dr. Arlene W. Clinkscale has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Campus Fun & Learn Child Development Center for a two-year term, to run until October, 2013.
African American Education in Rockland County