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The Baldwin School: Yesterday and Today

Rosetta Baldwin

The Woman Behind the School

Rosetta  Baldwin, about 1985.Courtesy Baldwin Museum
Rosetta Baldwin, about 1985.

Rosetta Cora Baldwin probably did not expect to touch the lives of so many children and families. Born February 14, 1902 in Graham, North Carolina, Rosetta moved with her parents to High Point at age ten. She began teaching when she was twenty years old, and in 1942 she opened a private school in her home. Rosetta taught for a total of seven decades before she died in 2000. The Baldwin Chapel School’s alumni fondly recall their impressions of “Miss Rosetta:”

“I don’t think she ever met a stranger.” - Pauline Outlaw, mother of Baldwin School student

“I can remember to this day she had a presence about her—spiritual-type thing. It was overwhelming; it demanded your attention.…She commanded everything that went on around her.” - Jeffrey Faust

“She was what they call a quiet storm.” - Eleanor Wonce, friend of Rosetta Baldwin

“She was the closest thing we had to a Martin Luther King. She wasn’t as vocal but her example was just as strong.” - Jeffrey Faust

Teacher, Principal, and Friend

Rosetta Baldwin, about 1925. Courtesy Baldwin Museum
Rosetta Baldwin, about 1925

Although she disciplined her students quickly when they misbehaved, former students recall that Rosetta’s love always shone through. She cared for her community by babysitting, protecting abused women, and caring for students and parents. For families on tight budgets, she reduced school fees. She was also a member of the neighborhood association, the Burns Hill Symphony Club. According to friend Eleanor Wonce, Rosetta Baldwin “just believed in people.”

“It was the love and compassion that she had for the children and for the Lord. And even the neighbors. Everybody just went to her, talked about things, and she was willing to help everybody.’” - Louise Anderson

“She was just the sweetest lady; oh she would just hug you. She didn’t care whose child. She loved children.” - Pauline Outlaw

"She did not replace my mother—no one could do that—but she substituted very well…when my mom wasn’t around." - Julius Clark

“She was a nurturer, that’s what we’ll call it.’” - Eleanor Wonce

“I remember the incident one time when I was out on the playground, playing ball. I fell on my stick, and it stabbed me in the side. And Lord, you know bleeding going on, and they wouldn’t let me pull the stick out….And I remember Ms. Baldwin taking me to the hospital.…She stayed right there with me, talked to me the whole time, calmed me down, you know, and everything.…Stuff like that you never forget. She was a teacher, a principal, and a friend.” - Lonnie Butler

A Teacher's Devotion

Above all, Rosetta Baldwin is remembered for her committment to her students and to her community. Below, Balwin's students describe that devotion. For her service, she has been honored with a street named after her and an annual "Rosetta Baldwin Day" every November 29 in High Point.

R.C. Baldwin Street Sign. Street name
changed from Olga Street on August 5, 2002. Photo by Hayley Chambers, 2007
Olga Street was renamed R.C. Baldwin Street
on August 5, 2002.

“I remember one night when I first came into the church Sister Baldwin was telling me about some type of [vegetarian] meat. And I said, ‘I don’t think I’d like that.’ And she said, ‘Oh, yes you would, Anderson.’ So she went back there and she cut off a piece and I’m just sitting there talking and she just stuck it in my mouth! She hadn’t fried it or warmed it or done nothing to it. I walked off and spit that stuff out!...She spent so much time with the children and working that she just sliced it, [ate it], and went on with her business. It was the best thing to her.” - Louise Anderson

Rosetta counted Rediburger, a canned meat substitute, among her favorite foods.  She would have it and other vegetarian foods brought in from Charlotte to be distributed to the community.
Rosetta counted Rediburger, a canned meat substitute,
among her favorite foods. She would have it and other
vegetarian foods brought in from Charlotte to be distributed
to the community.

“….How many people at 92 can play basketball? She could....She would get out there and play basketball like the rest of 'em, sure would. She was always going going, you know, going to the nursing homes, taking the children out during the holidays, door to door singing carols, coming to the nursing home singing carols. There was so much she would do. We would say, ‘Miss Rosetta, you gotta slow down.’ She'd say, ‘No, if I gotta slow down, that'll be the end of it.’” - Janice Clark


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