north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

     The North Carolina Association of Educators can trace its roots to a meeting in Warrenton on June 30, 1857. At that gathering, the name “Educational Association of North Carolina” was chosen and a constitution adopted. The Association was inactive and disbanded during the Civil War and Reconstruction years. But, in August 1883, editors of a publication called The North Carolina Teacher conceived the idea of having a “Chautauqua” meeting in the mountains. The term “Chautauqua” derives from a movement born in New York the mid-1870s whereby gatherings were held that combined study and recreation in a pastoral setting. The Chautauqua idea received a favorable response from many of the state’s educators.

     The site chosen for the meeting—held in June 1884—was the White Sulphur Springs Hotel, approximately one mile from downtown Waynesville. Attendees planned a two-week stay at Waynesville and a series of lectures and discussions on the methods of teaching, school government, organization, and similar matters relating to education. At the gathering, the group elected to call itself “The North Carolina Teachers’ Assembly.” The members decided to meet every year in June, but did not designate a permanent meeting place.

     From 1888 to 1900 the Teacher’s Assembly met in Morehead City in a building constructed for that purpose. The group kept the designation of Teachers’ Assembly until 1922, when it was officially chartered as the North Carolina Education Association. On July 1, 1970, the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) was formed when the North Carolina Education Association merged with the North Carolina Teachers Association. The latter group, which served black teachers, had formed in 1880, after the establishment of the NCEA. Today, the organization works to advance and ensure equitable, quality public education in North Carolina.

The North Carolina Teacher (1884)
North Carolina Association of Educators website:
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north carolina highway historical marker program

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources