Celebrating Black History Month: Meet Dr. Jeanelle Norman

We’re kicking off Black History Month, which celebrates the achievements and success of our Black community members. As it’s often stated, “Black history is American history.”

Dr. Jeanelle Norman is making history while blazing a trail in Decatur. She is the current president of the NAACP Decatur Branch; Community Restorative Board coordinator for the Macon County Adult/Juvenile Redeploy Illinois; professor emeritus at Richland Community College; president/founder of the Anna Waters Educational Scholarship Committee; and a frequent guest columnist for the Herald & Review.
Her past successes include: past president of the Decatur Board of Education (District 61); former director/founder of the College Futures Program at Richland Community College; former member of the Decatur Memorial Hospital board of directors; former trustee of Quincy University; and former president of the board of directors of the Shemamo Girl Scout Council.

Dr. Norman holds a doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction from Illinois State University, a master’s degree in education with a concentration in reading from Illinois State University and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Lane College. She has received numerous honors including the YWCA Women of Excellence Cora Ryan Education Award and the Civic Leadership Award from the Decatur Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“I am thrilled to be the mother of two lovely daughters! They are kind as well as successful in their chosen careers,” Dr. Norman said, adding that the accomplishment she’s most proud of is “the opportunity to have served the community to the best of my ability.”