Brown County to hold Ann Sheffield Day ceremony on May 1

Special to the Bulletin
Ann Sheffield

In memory of the late Ann Sheffield, longtime local educator, Brown County has declared Ann Sheffield Day and will hold a related ceremony on Saturday, May 1. If weather permits, the declaration will be given by Judge Paul Lilly at an outdoor ceremony at 2 p.m. at the Howard Payne University pergola, located behind Mims Auditorium. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held in the Bullion Suites of HPU’s Mabee University Center. May 4 has been selected as Ann Sheffield Day to coincide with National Teacher Day.

Sheffield dedicated her life to the education of young children and their teachers, impacting the lives of hundreds of families and thousands of children in Brownwood. Born in Brady, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree from HPU in 1970, followed by an early childhood education certificate through Texas A&M and a master’s degree in early childhood education from the University of North Texas. Sheffield served as Brownwood’s first public kindergarten teacher for eight years and later taught at HPU as associate professor of early childhood education for 28 years. She was also owner and CEO of Little Dude Ranch Child Development Center for 46 years. She passed away in February.

“Mrs. Sheffield made an impact on students at HPU who are no doubt continuing her legacy in classrooms locally and across the country,” said Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, HPU’s vice president for academic affairs. “We are grateful for the opportunity to host this event at HPU in her memory.”

Sheffield was a longtime member of First Baptist Church in Brownwood, where she led in many capacities. She actively participated in various other local groups, including Delta Kappa Gamma, Friends of Rotary, Brownwood Women’s Club and Angels in Aprons. As a People to People representative, she led groups of educators on trips to Russia and South Africa to study early childhood practices.

“Ann Sheffield blazed a trail all her own,” shared Judge Lilly. “From getting an education and starting her own business to teaching generations of students, she is a fine example of the amazing individuals who are in our community.”

Sheffield’s family, including her sister, Carol Ricks Bowman, and nephew Matthew Bowman and his wife, Rike, have created the Ann Sheffield Outstanding Educator Scholarship at HPU as a continuation of Sheffield’s legacy. The scholarship will support students majoring in elementary education with a focus toward primary grades (Pre-K through third grade) and having a minimum GPA of 3.25.

“This scholarship fund is a wonderful way to honor the life of Ann Sheffield and to further the development of teachers who continue Ann’s legacy as passionate educators,” said Dr. Dale Meinecke, HPU’s vice president for development.

Those who are interested in contributing to this scholarship can call HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at 325-649-8006 or email development@hputx.edu. Donations may also be made by visiting www.hputx.edu/giving/scholarships/give-to-scholarships and specifying “Ann Sheffield Scholarship.”