Martha Gaskins

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Martha Carolyn Spain Gaskins (born April 10, 1911 in Guymon, Oklahoma; died February 24, 2011 in Lexington, South Carolina) was a teacher, princical, and member of the Birmingham Board of Education.

Gaskins received her bachelor's in education from Florence State Teacher's College and her master's in education from University of Alabama at Birmingham. Gaskins taught at Birmingham City Schools for 22 years, and was a principal for 5. She was one of the first white teachers in the late 1960s to voluntarily transfer to a predominately black school when she left her neighborhood school in Roebuck and went to MacArthur School in Fountain Heights, which in one year had gone from 70 percent white to 70 percent black.

In 1981, Gaskins was appointed to the city school board, and served until 1990. Gaskins established scholarships at Beeson School of Education, University of North Alabama, and Georgia Tech.

In 2002, Huffman and Roebuck residents lobbied successfully to have a new middle school located behind North Roebuck Elementary School off Red Lane Road named in her honor. Gaskins, a 50-year member of Huffman Baptist Church, lived the last 10 of her 99 years in Lexington, South Carolina with her daughter.


  • Faulk, Kent (March 1, 2011) "Martha Gaskins remembered as dedicated educator." Birmingham News