SANFORD, Fla. – SANFORD, Fla. – A long time following generating history, a Seminole County woman is currently being honored for her sacrifice as the very first African American student to integrate Seminole County Public Educational facilities.

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No hesitation


Ingrid Burton Nathan was born in New York. She mentioned her delivery mom put her up for adoption. Ulysses and Edna Burton adopted her as a new child and introduced her to Seminole County. They owned and operated Burton’s Funeral Household.

“I was transplanted below and that was clearly my goal,” Nathan stated.

Nathan’s adopted mom, Edna Burton, handed absent ahead of she turned 6. Many years later her father remarried her stepmother, Cleo.

Nathan recollects her godfather was a member of the county’s biracial committee, which was tapped with picking out the first African American scholar to combine faculties. The team chose Nathan.

“When he requested me did I want to, I reported of course without the need of hesitation. I didn’t consider earlier that moment,” Nathan stated.

Ingrid Burton Nathan as a college student. She was the initial African American to combine Seminole County General public Faculties. (Ingrid Burton Nathan)

‘Don’t go to that school’

Nathan was explained to she was chosen to be the to start with university student to integrate universities since of her good skin.

“And they felt like I would not have as tricky a time as a darker skinned youngster. They were wrong,” she stated.


She attended Sanford Center College in 1964. The ninth grader was 14 yrs previous. She remembers the night prior to her very first day she received a connect with from a white parent.

“She did not know me. She just explained tell your mom and dad you do not want to go. Really don’t go to that college tomorrow,” Nathan mentioned.

Nathan stated she did not enable that end her. She recalls her father drove her to school.

“I was escorted by police into the developing,” Nathan reported.

She said on the 1st day of faculty absolutely everyone was good to her. She reported college students walked her to course and sat with her at lunch.

“After that I was on my personal,” Nathan said.

Nathan explained her time at Sanford Center Faculty as lonely. Then things improved when she went to Seminole Large University the upcoming 12 months.

Nathan stated she was bullied, she was not authorized to join clubs and college students accused her of dishonest.

“When I walked by way of the halls, the corridor parted like the red sea. Nobody preferred to contact me,” she stated.


Ingrid Burton Nathan as a university student. She was the initially African American to integrate Seminole County General public Schools. (Ingrid Burton Nathan)

Lasting influence

Via it all, Nathan persevered. She graduated in the top 10 p.c of her course. She was also selected to be a member of the Nationwide Honor Culture.

She credits a steering counselor for encouraging her get approved to Florida Southern College, exactly where she studied Spanish.

“I imagined considering the fact that I did not have full straight A’s and did not make the maximum SAT that I could not get into college, but she showed me that I could,” Nathan stated.

Nathan married her childhood sweetheart. Following living in Virginia for a handful of years, her family moved again to Seminole County.

She grew to become a teacher, spending nearly 40 years teaching Spanish at Lake Brantley and Lake Mary substantial universities.

The 72-12 months-aged reported at the time she did not recognize her conclusion to be the to start with to integrate educational institutions would have a lasting affect.

“The greatness of it, the bigness of it, no it by no means strike me. I under no circumstances did,” she reported.

Honoring her legacy


The Seminole County Faculty District is now building sure Nathan’s story is hardly ever neglected.

On Tuesday, the college board unanimously accepted naming developing 2 at Sanford Middle Faculty in her honor. District officers mentioned they hope to have the signal up by February.

“I know the little ones will glance on that constructing with my name on it, these who know me will be proud. Those who never will know about my legacy, my character, what I have carried out, and my achievements,” Nathan said.

It is a signal of how she altered background and a symbol of hope for potential college students to hardly ever give up.

“Such unfavorable beginnings and I designed it, so any individual can make it,” she stated.

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