lady in red dress and black and red sweater

Dorothy Burton is October’s Unsung Hero

Dorothy Burton, October's Betty J. Lewis Unsung Hero

two female students and three coaches

The SAU Tech Black History Celebration Committee is excited to announce Dorothy Burton as the October 2021 Betty J. Lewis Unsung Hero.

Each year the Black History Celebration Committee, comprised of college staff and community members, hosts an annual fundraiser to raise money for the Betty J. Lewis Minority Scholarship Fund. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 Black History Celebration was canceled. In lieu of this event, the Black History Celebration Committee made the decision to name a Betty J. Lewis Unsung Hero for each month leading up to the 2022 event.

The vibrant and outgoing Dorothy Jean Burton was an educator and a motivator for 43 years. Ms. Burton attended and graduated from Lafayette High School, Shorter Junior College (AA Degree), AM&N/UAPB (B.S. Degree), Ouachita Baptist University (MA Degree), and Henderson State University (12 hours).  


Her love for children led her to begin her teaching career at Mt. Holly School, Mt. Holly, AR for 4 years. She later accepted a position at Harmony Grove Elementary School, Camden, AR where she educated generations for 39 years. In 2007, she retired from Harmony Grove Elementary School, however; her passion for teaching didn’t allow her to stay away. Ms. Burton returned as a substitute teacher. An opportunity arose that led Ms. Burton to spread her love for people AND talking by volunteering for many years at the Ouachita County Medical Center, Camden, AR. 


Ms. Burton was a “people person” who never met a stranger. Ms. Burton was Harmony Grove’s #1 fan. She can be seen running touchdowns on many occasions. She rewarded the team with steak dinners for their hard work. She was known for blowing her bull-horn and cheering with her defense sign. Ms. Burton was a cheerleader, a coach, and a referee from the stands at all basketball games. In her spare time, she enjoyed playing cards and the slot machine. Her slogan was, “You have not because you ask not!” 


Ms. Burton was a member of many organizations: Ouachita County Retired Teachers Association (Treasurer & Lifetime Member), AM&N/UAPB Alumni (Lifetime Member), Greater Bradley District Choir (Secretary), Ouachita County Medical Center Auxiliary (Board Member), Spring Hill Cemetery Association (Secretary) and Diamond Life Member of the Magnolia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.


Ms. Burton has four children: Lisa, Sonya, Tamika, and Pooh, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. 


On March 26, 2021, Ms. Burton gained her wings. She will forever be missed.

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