The Ossining Board of Education recently honored the late Jean Lorraine Ackerman Boswell, a longtime Ossining teacher, with its annual Hester Bateman Spencer Hines Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award.
The district honored Boswell, who died last September at age 87, for her contributions to the school district and community. She spent 32 years educating Ossining’s youngest students as a Park School early childhood educator. She was one of the first African-American female teachers hired at the elementary school level in the district.
Board of Education trustees presented the award to the Boswell family at their Feb. 15th meeting at Anne M. Dorner Middle School.
“As a teacher in our district for over 30 years, Jean made a difference in the lives of hundreds of children in Ossining,” Board of Education President Graig Galef said. “I was fortunate to have known Jean and I am confident that her legacy, and her positive energy, remain in the minds of the students who were lucky enough to have her in their classroom.”
Trustees in 2021 established the Hester Bateman Spencer Hines Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award in memory of Ms. Spencer Hines, who was Ossining’s first Black educator. Each February, which is Black History Month, the board honors a Black community member/educator with a commitment to equity, enthusiasm for education and a record of exceptional service to the school district. Last year’s award winner was Francine Vernon, a former Board of Education member and a community leader.
Mrs. Ackerman Boswell, who grew up in Harlem, majored in liberal arts and minored in psychology at Hunter College. After graduating in 1956, she began a career as a social worker at the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation in the South Bronx, then moved into teaching. Boswell later went on to earn a master’s degree in education at the Bank Street College of Education.
Boswell was married to Christopher Boswell for 60 years, and the couple had three children – Donna, Gail and Christopher.