Smiling woman with pink lipstick

Betty J. Lewis, Unsung Hero for January

Irene Vaughan Galbert

Betty J Lewis, January's Unsung Hero
Irene Galbert Unsung Hero graphic

Irene Vaughan Galbert was born on Labor Day, September 2, 1946, in Camden, Arkansas, to Annie Merrill Bryant Vaughan and Johnny Vaughan. At age five, she joined the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. She married her childhood sweetheart, Rudie Slaughter Galbert, in 1968. She is the mother of three sons, LT. Colonel Rudie Galbert Jr.(retired), Colonel Johnny Galbert and Thurman Galbert. She is grandmother to fifteen and has two godchildren. Mrs. Ora Lee Westbrook is her godmother.

Irene graduated from Lincoln High School in 1964, and in 1968 she received a B. S. Degree in Elementary Education from A. M. & N. (now UAPB) in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She continued her educational studies at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas. Her work experience includes one year as a teacher in Fordyce Public Schools, two years in Magnolia Public Schools, and twenty-seven years in Camden Public Schools. After thirty years as an educator, Irene retired. Not satisfied sitting home and with a desire to help young people tugging at her heart, she re-entered the work force as a Mentor in the Camden Public Schools. In 2017, she again retired, this time from the Housing Authority After School Program after twenty years. Irene has served as the Alderman for the City of Camden, Ward 3, Position 2, for twenty-two years.

She has received numerous awards and plaques for Civic and Community work. They are: Charter member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Sigma Beta Omega Graduate Chapter in Camden, Arkansas; past Worthy Matron of Mary Bethune Chapter 11 Order of Eastern Star; past member of Governor’s Board (Technology Center); awarded Golden Soror Award for 50 years of service by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; past member of NEA, AEA, CFEA educational organizations; charter member of Lincoln High School All School Reunion Committee; member of Camden Retired Teachers Association; treasurer of UAPB Camden Alumni Chapter; treasurer of The Ladies Savings Club; member of Les Jeunes Amies Federated Ladies Club; one of the co-founders of Outstanding Women of Distinction in Southern Arkansas, Inc.; was honored by the African American Historical Commission of Camden with a plaque located in Ivory Heights Housing Projects, and she is a member of Greater St. Paul Baptist Church where Rev. Jeffrey Franklin is Pastor. She serves as member of Deaconess Board, member of Adult Sunday School class and a member of the budget committee.