Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Retirement wasn’t going to slow Edwina Matthews down. After 37 years as a teacher in Milwaukee Public Schools, Matthews immediately turned to volunteering at Samuel Clemens School to help children build their reading skills. Fifteen years later, she still volunteers 14 hours each week with fourth graders so every student can succeed in school and have a bright future.
Principal Garry Lawson says Matthews makes a difference for students, families, and the school. “She is truly dedicated to the students. She wants more than anything for them to be productive citizens,” he said. “And she has made strong connections with families that are wonderful for our school culture.”
Matthews’ impact on the Milwaukee community extends far beyond education. In the 1960s, she marched for fair housing alongside Father James Groppi and even marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She also took part in causes along with Vel Phillips.
Matthews says she was inspired by her cousin to become a teacher, and she hopes to pass the torch to future generations. She shared, “Because if I’m there for these kids . . . maybe later on, these kids will think, Ms. Matthews was there to help me . . . maybe one day, they will reach out and help someone.”
In honor of her lifetime of work, Matthews received a Positively Milwaukee Award as Inspiring Senior from Today’s TMJ4.
Milwaukee Public Schools congratulates Edwina Matthews. You make us #MPSProud!
Watch the video of Matthews’ inspiring story as part of the Positively Milwaukee Awards.