Cora Snead – Oral History

By Amy Marie Cantley, Recorded November 30th, 2023 @ Casselberry Public Library


Cora Snead

AMY MARIE CANTLEY: This oral history interview recording is being made as part of a collection for the
Seminole County Public Library. These interviews capture the stories and experiences of residents in the
area and students and educators from the Rosenwald School located in East Altamonte, Florida. Today
is Thursday, November 30th, 2023. My name is Amy Marie Cantley, and I am interviewing Mrs. Cora
Snead at the Central Branch Library in Casselberry, Florida.
Mrs. Snead, do I have permission to record this interview and make it publicly accessible on the library


CANTLEY: Thank you. First question when and where were you born?
SNEAD: I was born in Altamonte Springs, on Williams Street across the street — from where I’m presently
living — behind the church that I was raised in. My great aunt’s husband — the street is named for him
and the church was named for him. So, I am home. I was born in their house on October the 11th,

CANTLEY: Thank you.
Can you tell me about any childhood memories that you have of the area?
SNEAD: Childhood memories, yes, I can tell you a lot about the childhood memories, I think. Basically,
families knew all of the families in the area. It was a sprawling community, but they were close-knit,
even though they were far apart. They shared things. They were relatives, they were neighbors, they
were cousins, aunts, and uncles. They purchased from the community store. I remember that. They
ventured up to Mr. Fuller’s store on the corner of now what is 436 and Ronald Reagan, which is 427. But
that was a little off beaten path because that was in the white community, but Mr. Fuller knew
everybody. And B.D. McIntosh knew everybody. The service station was right behind Mr. Fuller’s store
to the back of Mr. Fuller’s store on 427 and you have to remember during that time there were no
street names. We didn’t have any street names at all. You were up the street or across the track, or you
went to the post office — which was on 436 — and the post office was right behind the present fire
station — they just tore that building down. That was the post office at that time. Now, I don’t know
whether or not they had another post office. I think some of the mail probably went to the train depot
and I can’t remember Mr. Morris, I believe his name was. He and his wife. But anyway, the mail went to
the post office and everybody received mail, in my community, general delivery. You didn’t have an
address, at all. In fact, I started teaching my kids — when I started teaching at Rosenwald — I started
teaching them having them learn the P.O. box and where they were and their full name and parents’
name and all of that.
Dr. Overstreet was the doctor in the community. However, I did not go to Dr. Overstreet, I went to Dr.
Schanck in Orlando for General Practitioner and I went to Doctor Brayboy for dentist. Doctor Starks was
in Sanford. And I remember him vividly taking a bunch of us in a van to Tallahassee to have our tonsils
removed. Because during that time you had to go in the back door to Overstreet’s office because it was
separated as to colored and, and white at that time. So, there were a whole lot of things that I
remember during that time, not necessarily so, so nice.
I was delivered by a midwife. In other words, my mom did not have access to a hospital or insurance or
any of that stuff. The only insurance (Interviewee’s Note: The insurance was a life insurance policy. Mr.
Bixler would collect premiums at individual’s residences.) that they had was through the man who — the
“Watkin’s man” they call — who came through and the insurance people. Watkin’s man came through
and sold little tidbits of goods to the community like curling irons and things like that and the — That’s
what he did. But the other things with that, needless to say, parents had to find a way to make a way for
their kids, and then you had the other gentleman who came through the Watkin’s man, he came
through (Interviewee’s Note: he came through in a truck) and he had mangoes and bananas and other
stuff on the truck for the kids to buy and for parents to buy during that time.
As I said, the community was very close. So, you shared plants, you shared greens and vegetables and
eggs and chicken, all of that. It was shared within the community. And not only that, the men in the
community — that had certain skills — they help one another. So, there were carpentry skills, there were
other things that they could do. However, there are a lot of orange pickers in the area during that time.
So … that’s basically what I remember about the community.
I remember the store on Merritt Street now, which had no name but the “Store.” (Interviewee’s Note:
The store was managed by Mr. Irvin Bolden) There was a store there, there was a drug store there, Mr.
Banks Ford had a drug store. He was a pharmacist in Orlando, and he would bring out goods to his drug
store to sell to community members. There was a bar. There were two restaurants – three restaurants
to be correct. There were three of them there. There was pool room. There was a theater. We had a
theater. Had a barber shop. (Interviewee’s Note: Jack Dessow was the Barber shop manager) All that
was on Merritt Street. But with segregation, that kind of changed because people started going different
places. They started visiting Orlando, which they had to ride the bus for that — sit at the back of the bus,
I must say — but they had to ride the bus for that. Or “they caught a ride”, we would say, into Orlando to
buy certain things. (interviewee Note: individuals would ride with another person who had a vehicle).
So, I remember that about the community.
I remember the church members going down to Rosenwald and there was access to Lake Mobile in the
back. That’s where I was baptized in Lake Mobile. That’s where a lot of the members of the community
were baptized there in Lake Mobile behind Rosenwald School. So, there are a lot of special memories
with that. I remember people coming from Oviedo to play baseball — the big field behind Rosenwald. I
remember having picnics behind Rosenwald. Um… I remember a lot of things. I remember them
delivering milk in the little bottles and the miniature loaves of bread from Merita to the school.
Chocolate milk, the regular white milk, I remember that. I remember us getting Christmas — wasn’t a gift
— it was the little red mesh bag like onions come in and there was fruit, they had fruit in it. But however
we had fruit everywhere, there was fruit everywhere but we did get a chance to get apples and that
sugary candy — you know what I’m talking about — It’s the, the green and the yellow and the, the little
square candy. The little —

CANTLEY: The ones that come in like the small containers and they all end up clumped together? Is that
what you’re talking about?
[simultaneous speaking]

CANTLEY: The ones like colored ones.
SNEAD: No, this was sugar — confectionary sugar.

SNEAD: It was the little one. You don’t see it very often now, but we remember getting that kind of
candy back then at Christmas time. Basically, you know I entered Rosenwald during the 48, 49 years of
first grade. Mr. Hamilton was my first principal. Mrs. Aletha Hamilton, his wife, was my first-grade
teacher. Mrs. Ceader Mason Neal was there, and Mrs. Charlotte Foster was there. So, when I entered, I
remember those three teachers. However, there was one other teacher there — Miss Blair, I do believe – but I think she later on moved to Crooms.
The teachers there — the room, the school was a four-room school. There were four classrooms, two of
the classrooms had a sliding chalkboard that would go up, and that would turn into the auditorium. The
other two classrooms were at the front of the school. Now you have to remember, 1st through 8th grade
— combination grades. So, you might be in the classroom with 1st, 2nd, and some 3rd graders. You might
be in the classroom with some 4th, 5th, and 6th graders — depending upon your learning skills and all of
that — they placed you in different places. I remember that much about it.

However, the teachers were very creative with what they had. They didn’t have a whole lot. They had
the basic reader. They did a lot of teachable moments, a lot of teachable moments because we were
right by the lake. They did certain things with us to teach us how to take care of ourselves and how to be
responsible and all of that. There was no science book per se. When we did get books, we got used
books from Lawton Elementary and the older kids got used books from Milwee. They were off the
state’s adopted list and handed down to us. OK, 1st through 8th
What else can I remember about that?
All the teachers made sure that the kids had supplies and had food to eat, even if it meant a classmate,
would share what they had or the teacher would share what they had to make sure that everybody had
something to eat. So, as I said, everybody was, was taken care of. All the teachers were loving, kind,
giving. Disciplinarians, though. When you were told to behave, you behaved. If not, when you got home,
you had a problem. Because we were taught to respect adults, even if you got caught into something
that you knew that you didn’t do, you still kept your mouth shut. You respected that adult until it was all
sorted out. So, I remember that.
As I said, teachable moments with the basic reader. (Interviewee’s Note: In the basic reader were stories
of toys, pets, and playthings) They had in the book, there were toys, pets and playthings, and then they
had birds and that’s when the new science would come in and then you could watch birds outside and
that, during that time, birds were plentiful. You could watch the birds outside. They taught cursive and
manuscript writing, which they don’t teach, I don’t think, anymore, but they taught that. They had —
taught you how to speak. [You] Had to speak in complete sentences. You got your oratorical skills
through plays — we had plays — and that was in the auditorium where the boards would go up. That’s
where PTA meetings were held. That’s where coronations were held. That’s where any kind of county
meeting that they needed to do and come to that school, that’s where that was held, all of that was held
We didn’t have any heat; we had wooden stoves. So, we gathered the wood. We washed the boards,
swept the floors, so we actually kept the school clean.
No custodian. Itinerant music teacher and PE teacher later, or because the teachers would take us out
for recess, or whatever we had to do. I remember Miss Meuse taking us to Hopper Elementary for
basketball because we would go — the larger girls, 7th, 8th graders — would go to Hopper Elementary
and play basketball there. We did — Oh, what else did we do? We did volleyball. We could do a little
volleyball. Didn’t have the right kind of net, but there were things that we could do, you know? And they
made sure that we were well taken care of.
No inside toilets whatsoever. Didn’t get an inside toilet until 1951. I believe that’s when they did the
annex. They put two additional classrooms on and bathrooms. Administration bathroom and bathrooms
for the kids. Before then, it was an outside house. You had to go up on the hill to the bathroom.
Water was from a fountain. You had to go outside. And to this day, I’m not really sure where the water
came from. I’m not sure they had a deep well or if they had pipes to the, this Lake Mobile or not. I want
to say there was a deep well, but I don’t remember that part of it.
I don’t know it was a real good experience because we were taught how to take care of yourself. You
were taught personal hygiene. You were taught how to do things at home. You were taught how to take
care of your siblings all, all of that.
And the school was actually the hub for the community because there were five churches. Five churches
– William’s Chapel, Saint John, Freewill Baptist, Saint Red – Freewill Baptist and — there’s another one
that’s sanctified – (Interviewee’s Note: There was not a Saint Red. Sanctified Church and New Bethel
AME were the other churches.) I think I named five — but the five churches, they all went their different
ways, but we all got together when we went to Rosenwald, for the common good of the community. So,
the common ties were all done at the school if there was, if there were things going on in the
community or we needed to do something, that it was there.
I remember Mayday. “Plattin’ the Maypole,” as we call it. I remember that, we did that on a regular
basis ever May, that was one of the activities for us with all the different color ribbons to do the

CANTLEY: Did you have any favorite teachers that stand out?
SNEAD: You know, I had, Mrs. Hamilton, that I dearly, dearly loved, and I had Mrs. Foster and Miss
Ceader because when I was there, there were the three – there were only three teachers, so you got a
chance to get to all of them. And as I said, I think Mrs. Blair had moved on to, to Crooms at that time. So,
you had a chance to come in contact with all of the teachers and Mr. Hamilton.
And I can’t remember really what Mr. Hamilton taught. I don’t — He taught something, but he didn’t
teach me per se. The ladies, all of the ladies taught me at that school. I remember Mrs. Hamilton
teaching me manuscript writing. The little book , whatever it was that, I remember that. I remember
Mrs. Charlotte Foster. She come in with – what do you call them? Dates? The little dates. She’d come in
and she shared her dates with us, and she taught us our reading and math and all that. I remember Mrs.
— Miss Ceader Mason Neal. She was the one who was into grammar and writing and all of that because
she was taught some of the older kids, she was into that. So, to say I had a favorite? No. I think all of
them were possibly favorites.

[talking simultaneously]

CANTLEY: They brought their own.
SNEAD: They brought their own. Yeah. They were favorites during that time. M-hm.
The library. Now, I remember the library. Four rooms in the school — room here, room here, room here,
room here. Big hallway here, big hallway right down the center. You entered in the front door. There
was the room. Another room here. Right in the middle was the principal’s office — which was about as
big as this book, I might say — and right behind that was the, his office which was wide open, was one
table, and that was the library. On the other side, there was a little room over there where they
delivered things and later on, they turned into a little classroom, as we got more kids, it was used as, as
a classroom. So, they had doors on either side, on the side where the library was. They had doors across
in that little room where they delivered things, and they had a door at the front of the building. The back
part of the building didn’t have any doors, but it had cloakrooms and lots and lots of windows, as you
can see on the picture.

CANTLEY: So, did the library — although it was small — did it serve as a community library as well, or was
it just for the students?
SNEAD: It was for the students, but if parents came in and they wanted to see something, they, it was, it
was open. They could look at it if they want to go in and look at some books. But there weren’t that
many books then, there weren’t that many books.
[simultaneous speaking]

SNEAD: We had basically workbooks until we got some of the books from the other schools and then we
had, you know, a few more books. But then you had share, OK, because they were distributed
throughout the county to other schools that needed them. M-hm. So, yes.
[papers rustling]

CANTLEY: Did you have a favorite subject?
SNEAD: I can’t remember having a favorite subject. I think I was just eager to learn just about anything
and everything that they put before me. Because you didn’t get that at home. You had parents who
were working.

SNEAD: They were working, they might had a, might have had a little workbook or something there at
home for ya — they had the Sears’ catalog and of course, we had the Sears’ catalog because Julius
Rosenwald was part of that Sear’s thing. So we all got the Sears catalog so you could look through that
and see stuff and, you know, and kind of say “this is what I want and I want this and that.” And I
remember my mom ordering a dress for every day of the week. So, there were five dresses and one for
Sunday, and then you flip, and you go back through it again. So, yes.
CANTLEY: And what grades did you go through at Rosenwald?
SNEAD: I went through — no kindergarten because there wasn’t a kindergarten there at all. I went
through 1st– went from 2nd to 3rd– no 2nd to 4th. I skipped a grade. And then I went all the way through8
th grade. There wasn’t any place else to go.
We got kids from Fern Park, Longwood Markham Road, Altamonte, and – where else did we —
Longwood. So, all of those kids came into that particular school. And then there was some later on after
8th grade, a few went to Hungerford. And the majority of us went on to Crooms. Uh-huh.

CANTLEY: Over in Sanford.
SNEAD: Over in Sanford? Yes. M-hm.

CANTLEY: What was that transition like for you from 8th grade into high school at a new school?
SNEAD: 8th grade into high school, we knew all the teachers already because we had relatives and
siblings and all had gone– Even from Oviedo, because I had, my mom had relatives in Oviedo, so we had
a chance to see relatives at school, in high school, we had relatives to see. We had a chance to see
people from Longwood that we had already been with. We had teachers — we knew the teachers
already. My sister had gone to Crooms. And she knew all of the teachers and of course, when they had
activities, little sister tagged along. So, we knew all of the, the people at Crooms. Mrs. Hurston, Zora
Neale Hurston’s family, we knew Mrs. Hurston was the librarian. Mr. Hurston was there. And later on,
their daughter came back and taught math. We knew them. We knew Miss Thomas. She taught physical
education. We knew her. We knew the principal, Mr. Allen. And later on, Mr. Blackshear came in and
was the principal there and — So we knew, we basically knew because if you’re in Altamonte and Oviedo,
you knew all of the people in the surrounding area, so it was a relatively easy transition.
The biggest part of it was getting up early in the morning to catch the bus to wind through all of
Longwood, Markham — Longwood, Longwood Markham Rd — to pick up all those kids — and then get to
Crooms. We were the first to get there and the last to leave because they had another route they had to
get over to Geneva. They had to get over to Midway. They got those kids home first — because they
were close — and then they come back and pick us up and we’d get back to Altamonte. Mrs. Annie Mae
Lovette was the bus driver. She had two daughters to finish high school with me. Bernice and Thelma.
She lived in the Altamonte area.
So yes, it was it was easy, easy transition. We knew everybody so and they knew all the families. So, you
had the same kind of thing going there. If you don’t behave yourself well, we know who to call, you
[Cantley laughs]
SNEAD: So, you had the same thing going there.

CANTLEY: Were you involved with any extracurricular activities?
SNEAD: Yes. Tri Hi Y and New Homemakers of America. It’s not called New Homemakers of America
anymore. But yes, Tri Hi Y all had to do with ethics and character and all societal issues and all of that.
That was a part of what we learned at school to get us exposed to other things other than just being
there in high school, you know. We, we had our subject areas. We had the math, the geometry, the
home economics and New Homemakers of America was a part of the home economics part of it
because you wanted to learn your personal stuff as well as how to take care of your home and the social
issues and things that were relevant to, to young girls. Now Tri Hi Y and Hi Y — I believe the Hi Y was for
the boys. So, we had that and New Homemakers of America, that was it? M-hm.
[simultaneously speaking]

CANTLEY: So, as we know, the schools were segregated at the time.

CANTLEY: And even though Brown vs. Board said that they weren’t supposed to be any longer, it took
the South –
SNEAD: Forever. Forever.

CANTLEY: Yes. [laughs] Yeah, that’s the honest way to put it.
Do you think that the slow integration process had any impact on your education?
SNEAD: Not really. I got a pretty good education.

SNEAD: I did. I got a pretty good elementary education. I went off to Fisk and got out of there in my four
years, like I was supposed, like I was supposed to. [laughs]
[Cantley laughs]
SNEAD: However, I did go to Bethune Cookman to get some education classes because my major was
psychology at Fisk. And — I forget I was in a psych class, but it had to do with elementary education and
that kind of piqued my interest there. So, when I got home, I was offered a job at Jackson Heights
Elementary, which is now high school. And Mrs. Muller was the itinerary music teacher at my school
when I went there, and Mr. Muller was the principal when I first started teaching. So, you see how close,
how close it is. So not, not really.
I mean, you knew that things were different. You knew that there were certain places you couldn’t go.
You knew that — well, for lack of a better word — you just knew to, to do what you had to do. And in
Tennessee, it was the same way. It was the very same way because that was during the time of the
protests. All of that was going on at that time and we were told not to go downtown alone. Always go in
groups. And that’s when things were really rough.
That’s when John Lewis was there– he was in my class. That’s when he was there, but he was spending
time with the protests and all of that. He was very active with that. But I was — what? I went to school.
Just turned 16. So, they ask, if you’re not 18 years of age, you don’t need to be protesting, you need to
stay on campus. So, I did. I did what I was supposed to do.

CANTLEY: I imagine that was a big change leaving the area so early to go off to college.
SNEAD: Yeah, it was different, but you know? When you come up in an area — like Altamonte — and is so
close-knit with people and you’ve not been exposed to a whole, whole lot of things. But you were taught
how to take care of yourself and what to look out for and things not to do if you wanted an education
and didn’t want to be a domestic worker or a nurse. Few things were open, especially to women during
that time. So, you knew that there were certain things that you, you had to focus in on, you know? But
Nashville was, it was, it was different. It was tough. It was right across the street from Meharry Medical
College there — there was a medical school there. My brother finished there. So, it was interesting.
I had a chance to meet different people coming from the north who had been exposed to much.
Because they already were integrated, part of them, you know, of that. But coming from the north, it
was a lot to absorb with the differences in the cultures and what the girls knew or what the children
knew at this basic, what we knew or some of us knew, coming from a little town that had been kinda

CANTLEY: So, was it at Fisk that you decided to pursue education, or did that come along later, as far as
a career?
SNEAD: It was at Fisk I took that one psychology class — which had to do with education — and my
interest was tapped. When I got home, I thought, well, what am I going to do with the psychologist? Not
much you can do with psychology unless you go on and get another major. So, I said, well, maybe I’ll go
to BCC and get some education courses. So, I did. I took music and some of the skills from Shirley B Lee,
which was an excellent, excellent lady at, Bethune, — and she said, “You need to” — and so did Mr.
Douglas, by the way, at Crooms, he had already told me, he said “You’re going to be a teacher.” He had
already told me that when I was in high school. He told me that. “You’re going to be a teacher,” he said,
“I know what you’re going to be already, you will be a teacher.” I said “No, I’m not teaching school.” He
said, “Well, we’ll see.” But anyway, I did go, and I got a couple of education courses and then my first job
was at Jackson Heights.

CANTLEY: And what did you teach there?
[simultaneously talking]
SNEAD: I taught 4th grade. So, I taught all of the gambit.

CANTLEY: Everything in 4th grade. [laughs]
SNEAD: Everything in 4th grade. I taught 4th grade. And then I, the next year I went to, back to Mr.
Meuse, Rosenwald. That’s where I taught in my, at my home school where I finished. I taught for him
and I taught kindergarten. And then I taught once we– Let’s see. No, I taught kindergarten and one year
of first grade, I think at Rosenwald.
And then when integration came, we all went to Sterling Park. That’s when they started the, the phasing
out. And I think, during Mr. Meuse’s time, that’s when they cut it from 1st to 8th grade, to 1st through
6th grade. And when I got there, that’s when they had kindergarten going on at that time it – it wasn’t
called kindergarten. What was it called? It was through 4C. It was a 4C for kids, head start — that kind of
thing, and then it went into, to kindergarten because before they had tried to get head start to give the
kids a leg up to try to get with education and all of that. So, I went into our kindergarten. I loved
So, we went over to Sterling Park. They — all of those who didn’t transfer out to someplace else — we all
went over to Sterling Park. And when I got over to Sterling Park, I taught kindergarten. That’s where I
was. And then later on, I became a primary specialist at Sterling Park. Helping kids with individual IEPs
and learn, teaching them how to learn through different modalities, because not all kids learn the same.
So, you have to vary in how you teach and how, what you give them in order to get them to learn. And I
did that. And then we moved to – I, I moved to Heathrow. Mr. Meuse retired. He passed and new
principals came in and then I moved over to Heathrow to teach, and that’s where I finished my career, at
Heathrow. I was primary specialist there for a while, and then they cut the whole program out. So, then
I went back into first grade, which was my love, and at Rosenwald — the picture that you have there are
— the class, I taught my daughter in kindergarten.

CANTLEY: Oh, how special.
SNEAD: So, she’s pictured on that, and I taught her in first grade and her little cousins. They were in her
class because they were a year – Tanya and Desiree– I do believe, they were a year behind her, and I
taught them the following year in kindergarten. So, I taught little cousins and they called me “Cousin
Cora” rather than “Mrs. Snead.” But yes, I taught them so, yeah.

CANTLEY: What was that like to return back to your former school as an educator?
SNEAD: It was great because I felt like the kids needed somebody that understood the culture and
needed the help with learning. So, I was pleased to be at Rosenwald, I really was. I was asked to transfer
to other schools, but I told them I would prefer to be at home and teach the kids in my community. So, I
stayed there until we moved to Sterling Park.

CANTLEY: Yeah, other than if there’s anything else that you’d like to share with me?
SNEAD: Well, there, as I said, there were the five churches, that was the common thing for us to get to
the school so we could talk about problems in the community and try to do different things.
I remember too — I’m going to go flip back a little bit. You know, we didn’t have a telephone at
Rosenwald. No, the principal, didn’t have a telephone until much later. He had to go to Milwee in order
to use the telephone. So, there was no telephone. That’s hard to believe, but it’s true. (Interviewee’s
Note: Milwee now middle school was the original Lyman High school).
The coronations, of course, was started under Mr. Meuse. The First Grade, Miss First Grade, Second
Grade, and Miss Rosenwald — that was started under the Mr. Meuse. The new, the memory book and it
says there the initial yearbook was started under Mr. Meuse.
So, I went on to Crooms and did what I had to do and here I am.
Now Rosenwald, to me, is very special. It’s special for, for two reasons. Number one, I had siblings to go
there. I went there. It was, it wasn’t called Rosenwald before. It was a little wooden school that was
before my time. And the little wooden school was moved for, I do believe, William’s Chapel Church and
that’s when — the school was built in the 30s. Rosenwald School was built in the 30s. So that’s when we
had a chance to actually get into a school. Well, I wouldn’t have known about that, but kids before me.
My sister knew some things about that, to get into that. But ironically enough, at Fisk, some of the
funding papers of, Julius Rosenwald was housed there. So that’s a double tie for me. So… I was pleased
to be there because of that and know the history of Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington and all
of that, (Interviewee’s Note: Booker T. Washington initiated and consulted with Julius Rosenwald for the
Rosenwald schools). and Booker T. Washington was the one who actually did, I do believe Tuskegee, and
his kids went to Fisk. (Interviewee’s note: Booker T. Washington’s third wife, Margaret James Murray,
attended Fisk, not his children.) So… and then I had a cousin to go to Fisk. Alcee Hastings, Congressman
Hastings went to Fisk. As I said, John Lewis went to Fisk. Fredrica Wilson Smith was in my class. She is a
congressman from Miami. She’s still there, she went to Fisk. So, there are a lot of connecting ties that
you have to the university. Friends that you had and places you’ve been, people you’ve seen, and it all
comes back to basically Julius Rosenwald and what he did there.
Now I was really upset that the school closed. Because that was the hub of the, of the school — we
talked about that for a long time — but Rosenwald actually closed in July 2011. They had turned it into a
special ed, education school and we received a letter from Vogel at the time saying that the school
would be closed and the letter came out in May and the school closed in July and you have a copy of
that letter in there.

CANTLEY: OK. That’s a quick turnaround. Do you have thoughts on what you’d like to see done with the
property out there?
SNEAD: Well, I’d like to see educational components. Really. I really would. I don’t know exactly what all
they plan, their plans for — and they said they’re going to do some educational components and some
other things — but to be real specific right now, I couldn’t tell you what they’re going to do. But I’d like to
see some things put into Rosenwald to give folk a heads up. I’d like to see adult education. So, people
can learn about wills and probates and insurance and things to help them and savings accounts and a
daycare for the kids so they’re not looking for places to go. A lot of parents would work if they had some
places for the kids to go. So yes, there are some specific things. I’d like to see it become a hub again, so
we could have meetings there. Community meetings and different events. Things to help that little area
[simultaneously speaking]

CANTLEY: Sounds like a good plan.
SNEAD: Uh-huh.

[simultaneously speaking]

CANTLEY: Anything that brings community together and people are learning are good things.
SNEAD: Learning.
SNEAD: Computers, computers skills for them. How to go on and do a resume. How to use the computer
to their advantage. Computer can be dangerous, but if you use the right way and taught the right way
and told certain things to look for in order to keep you out of traps, it’s a good thing.
[Cantley laughs]
[simultaneously speaking]
SNEAD: So, I’d like to see that happen. Now, I know everybody has a phone, but not everybody has
access to a computer. So, and I’d like to see —

CANTLEY: That’s very true.
SNEAD: I know.
And I’d also like to see — in the elementary school, when I was there, there was no nurse. At all. So, I’d,
I’d like to see a place where people can go and learn where to get services. Healthcare services, dental
services, Now I know the Health department is there and you can go and not everybody got, has a car to
get up there to Airport Boulevard. So — I mean there are a lot of things that can be done in the
community for the community. So –
My freshman year in college — I do believe 1960 and you have a picture of, of an article of that when the
school burned, when Rosenwald burned. (Interviewee’s Note: The school was burned in 1959 or 1960.
Editor’s note: The school was rebuilt in 1960 following the fire.) And we actually talked for years after
that school burned and the school was closed in July of 2011. We talked a lot about what the school
board could possibly do for the school, but it didn’t get off to get anything done for us. It was closed.
And I was actually hurt because that little community is one of the only communities where the school
didn’t come back. Longwood Elementary School was reopened. So that, that, that hurts to know that
we lost that, we lost that. And I’m being honest with you.

CANTLEY: And I appreciate that.
SNEAD: That, that that hurts. Yeah, it does.

CANTLEY: Uh-huh.
SNEAD: So, there are a lot of things.
My kids went to — my Caren went to Rosenwald — the older of my two kids — she went to Rosenwald.
And she went over to Sterling Park with me. My son did not go to Rosenwald. He went to Sterling Park
with me. Caren went to — what is it called? Tuscawilla. She was at Sterling Park, but she skipped a grade,
and she went to Tuscawilla with her classmates that were there at Sterling Park. They gave me special
permission to get her there because she was in the gifted program, so they gave me special permission
to get her there at Tuscawilla. My son, Paul III he went to Sterling Park with me. And then he went to
Milwee which is now, that used to be Lyman. And then they both went to Lyman and finished high
school at Lyman. So, like I said, we’re at home and the kids went to school in the community. It was a
little bit different for them. They were able to move and maneuver through the system and are doing
quite well.

CANTLEY: Good. It sounds like, you know, generations of Seminole County schools and lives
interconnected with the community.
And that’s why I say I can’t separate one from the other because the community is so much a part of my
life, you know, knowing all of the older people there and the teachers there and the preachers there and
the wise ladies there and all of that. So, it’s a very much a part of my life. So–
[simultaneously speaking]

CANTLEY: Well, thank you, Cora. This was really nice. I appreciate your time.
SNEAD: Okay, I hope I gave you, I gave you what you, what you wanted. [laughs]
[Cantley laughs]
[simultaneously speaking]
SNEAD: Now in your packet there, there are some things in there that you just might want to pull out
and I can tell you a little bit about those so this right here is the initial yearbook.

CANTLEY: That sounds good.
[papers rustling]
SNEAD: Now this right here is the initial yearbook. Now I won’t give you this because I don’t have
[simultaneously speaking]

CANTLEY: It’s the 1966 Rosenwald yearbook.
SNEAD: It’s the 1966 Rosenwald yearbook and in it — and you have two pages from this book. The two
pages that you have from this book are — you have this one right here, Miss Ceader Mason Neal. The

SNEAD: You have that one. And you have — where’s Mr. Meuse?
[papers rustling]
[pages turning]
SNEAD: Let’s see, let’s see if I can find the administration. And Mr. R.T. Milwee this principal at that time,
superintendent, and you have Mr. Meuse here. That was the principal that I taught under. Mr. Hamilton
was the one that I went to school under, this is the one I taught under. And you have Emma Walton,
who was a student at Rosenwald, and he hired her as secretary, when she got out of secretarial school.
It’s on, it’s on this sheet right here.

CANTLEY: I’m correcting the spelling. [laughs]
SNEAD: OK, OK, OK. It’s there.

[pages turning]
SNEAD: OK and here are some of the teachers. She’s from the community.
CANTLEY: So, Miss Stevens —
SNEAD: And, and this was the — Miss Muller was the itinerant music teacher — this is when we actually
got a music teacher — she came here, says this record from Orlando. She came in as a music teacher.

SNEAD: And I’m trying to find Mr. Meuse and – let me see if you’ve got that. OK.
And then this is the year that my husband taught at Rosenwald.

CANTLEY: Hm! That’s right.
SNEAD: Uh-huh. He taught at Rosenwald one year.

SNEAD: This is the Crooms yearbook 1959.

CANTLEY: The Crooms yearbook.
SNEAD: Let’s see if I can find me. There I am there.
[Cantley laughs]

CANTLEY: And all of National Honor Society, Tri Hi Y, NHA, Thespians.
SNEAD: Yes. Yep.
And all of these are classmates that – we are having our grand reunion this year. So hopefully I get a
chance to see a lot of these who have not passed on but yes — a lot of these. Yep.
And this is the Fisk yearbook.

CANTLEY: From 1963.
[pages turning]
SNEAD: Yep. Still not finished.
[pages turning]
SNEAD: Let’s see if I can find me in here.
[pages turning]
SNEAD: Fisk has a beautiful campus. Freshmen, where are the Seniors? That’s it, I was going to mark it
and I didn’t do that. This looks like my class here, though. Let’s see if I can find it. I’m looking for—I guess
I’ll go back.
Well, I can show you Frederica while I’m in here. Frederica Smith. There’s Freddy right there. The
congressman. There she is.
And, where am I? And where’s John Lewis? He’s in here somewhere. So, did I put that in here for that?
Yep, there’s John Lewis there.

CANTLEY: So, you and John Lewis were in the same class?

SNEAD: We were in the same class. M-hm.

SNEAD: Yeah, same class.
And there I am there. Right there. Yeah, we were in the same class.

[pages turning]
SNEAD: Same class. Years ago.
Anything else you want to ask me? Feel free.

CANTLEY: No, not unless there’s anything else you want to share. You know, this has been really
enlightening and enjoyable, so I appreciate your time.
SNEAD: I hope I answered all of your questions.

CANTLEY: You did. [laughs]

CANTLEY: [unintelligible]
pause in recording
CANTLEY: Cora Snead interview continued.
SNEAD: 1965 to 1966, I was a 4th and 6th grade teacher at Jackson Heights. And then 1966 to 67, I taught
4th grade at Rosenwald, then 1967 to 68, I was[a] first grade teacher. 1968 to 1975, kindergarten teacher
at Rosenwald. 1975 to 83, kindergarten teacher and I did do first grade in there – I wonder if I got the
year — yeah, here it is — 1967 to 68 first grade at Rosenwald. So then 1983 to 91, I was the primary
education specialist at Sterling Park. 1991 and 92, primary education specialist at Heathrow. 1992, they
cut out prep. First grade teacher at Heathrow. And, of course, I went to Crooms. BA Psychology Fisk,
Master of Arts degree at Rollins. And also took a crisis intervention class 1980, 99. And certified in the
areas of elementary of, of, of elementary education, sociology 7 through 12, math junior high through
the childhood education. And, of course, during the time when I taught, we had to take the Florida
performance test in order to keep your certificate.

SNEAD: And I’m a (Interviewee’s Note: Life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha) member of the Alpha Kappa
Alpha sorority. And you’ve probably heard about that. And I am also a member and charter member of
the Altamonte Springs chapter of the Links Incorporated.

CANTLEY: And what is that?
SNEAD: Links is a service organization and strictly service. I was president and vice president, and what
we do with service to meet the needs, the mission is to meet the needs of people — service to all people
— to get them education. We give scholarships and it’s an international organization. So, it’s, it’s a lot.
And when I was teaching, I was [a member of] Seminole Education Association, a Seminole County
Reading Association, Florida Reading Association, National Education Association and, at Rollins, I was in
the Kappa Delta Pi. (Interviewee’s Note: Given a membership plaque for Kappa Delta Pi at graduation)
Because of education and it was mainly a professional intellectual [organization] to encourage
professionalism and just high standards of morals and ethics and that kind of stuff.
And 1972 I was teacher of the year at Rosenwald. 82, 83 teacher of the year at Sterling Park. 1984, 85 I
was prep, Program Honorable Mentions, in 1985, 86 Staff Development Improvement Award and in
1991, 92 teacher of the year Heathrow. So, I was the 1st teacher of the year at Rosenwald, 1st teacher of the year at Sterling Park and 1st teacher of the year at Heathrow. So — A lot of that.

[speaking simultaneously]

CANTLEY: And you’re involved with the Evergreen Cemetery as well.
SNEAD: Evergreen cemetery. Yes. (Interviewee’s Note: A Board member and secretary for Evergreen
Cemetery) And because the cemetery, which you know, I’m sure Alton has told you, it’s in Casselberry, but
members of the community from the East Altamonte community are buried there. And there are those
shotgun houses, a lot of people lived out there. Nine shotgun houses. So, it was in much disarray. So,
Alton and I, and Levi Dixon, we got together and decided that we wanted to clean it up. So now it’s a
beautiful resting place.

CANTLEY: It really is.
SNEAD: Our beautiful resting place. So yeah. That was my mom’s passion. Her mom’s passion was to
have a nice resting place for her family, so she would gather us up and go out and clean the area and we
would cut down the Sand Pines for Christmas trees. That was our Christmas tree.

SNEAD: So, all of those things you know are a part of me.
All right. And of course, I married the man from Birmingham, Alabama. So, I had a lot to see in Tennessee and
Altamonte and in Birmingham. When I say a lot, I mean a lot to see about segregation and integration
and all of that. M-hm. So, for me there was a lot of, a lot of that. And of course, he taught school for a year, but he was a
district administrator of HRS back at the time. (Interviewee’s Note: Paul was district administrator in the
late 1980s and early 1990s) Did you know that that?

Alright, and I got two loving kids. Caren and Paul III.

CANTLEY: Thank you so much. Thank you so much.
SNEAD: And I will continue to be a community advocate.

CANTLEY: It doesn’t seem like that’s ending anytime soon, huh? [laughs]
SNEAD: No, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No. No, I’d like to see something happen with that building
before I’m at Evergreen.


end of interview