Generation X (born 1964 - 1981)
Bianca Alexander was born in Garfield Heights, Ohio. Her mother, born in Cleveland, Ohio, retired after working 34 years as a metal technician and communications coordinator for General Motors and recruiter for Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth of America. Her father, also born in Cleveland, is a retired lineman for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA). Prior to joining the RTA, he was a general foreman at LTV Steel, where he supervised the roll shop, slab and conditioning yards from 1976 to 2001.
Bianca grew up in the suburb of Bedford Heights, Ohio and attended Saint Pius X Catholic School. After her parents divorced when she was eight years old, she moved, with her mother and sister, to Cleveland, Ohio to live with her maternal grandmother. At that time, she transitioned to attend Henry W. Longfellow public school. Her transition from a suburban Catholic school to an inner-city public school was a culture shock. After living a year in Cleveland, she moved, with her mother and sister, to the suburb of University Heights, Ohio and attended Canterbury Elementary School and Wiley Middle School. Her mother and sister moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio after her eighth-grade year in school. Bianca graduated from Shaker Heights High School in 1996 where she played the flute in the marching band.
Bianca earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education/French and a Master of Arts in Education Foundations Instructional Technology from the University of Akron. She also earned a Masters in Education Law from Nova Southeastern University.
Advocating for and equipping teachers to address the academic and social-emotional needs of students in under-resourced schools in the U.S. and abroad summarizes her career. As a teacher, Bianca quickly learned how to effectively differentiate and enhance instruction to address the needs of students in the areas of special education learning support in Florida, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Illinois. As a school administrator, Bianca worked diligently to train teachers on how to use culturally responsive instructional strategies to meet the needs of the increasing student demographic of linguistically diverse learners in public charter schools in Ohio. As a result of networking with educators who share the same compassion for learning how educational systems work to improve instruction, Bianca explored experiential learning internationally, specifically, as a Resource Teacher at the American international School of Jeddah, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 2012 to 2014, and the Director of the first Kuwait Bilingual School in the Embassy State of Kuwait from 2017 to 2018. The culmination of these experiences has shown her that there are schools all over the world that struggle with providing children with high-quality instruction regardless to socio-economic status.
Currently, she is an Elementary School Principal working for the Bureau of Indian Education, under the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Bianca is committed to community service in underserved communities. She has been a volunteer with the Chicago Urban League Young Professionals, a Transportation and Food Delivery Driver for newly resettled refugees for the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, a Literacy Tutor for Nepali refugee children for The Refugee Response, and a tutor for refugee children at Emerson Elementary School in Lakewood City Schools, for Asian Services in Action, Inc., in Lakewood, Ohio. Bianca is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Inc.
Bianca Alexander describes her most significant life accomplishment as remaining committed to her faith in Christ.
She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, genealogy, travel, reading non-fiction, and is a foodie.
Oral History Summary
Bianca Alexander: Global educator, principal. Creole colorism, classism.
Bianca talks about leading schools in the Middle East; and her Creole culture in which cousins intermarried to remain fair complexioned and preserve their culture, her grandmother deciding to passe blanc (pass for white), being adamant about not being African, and being shunned by her family because she had less European features than her siblings and associated with blacks; and her family's Creole social status and wealth attained in the Cane River, Louisiana community by former slave Marie Therese Coincoin who owned land and slaves resulting from a plaçage relationship with Frenchman Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer. She shares stories about growing up in Bedford Heights and Cleveland, Ohio; not knowing that she was black; not being in the same social class as her peers due to parents’ divorce; earning a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education/French and master’s in Instructional Technology from the University of Akron; her interest in developing the minds of students to explore other cultures; her independent study in France; earning a master’s in education law to protect rights of special needs students; working in Saudi Arabia as a resource teacher for students with special needs, relating to classism in their society, and not being seen as an American; working as a principal in Kuwait; frustration with U.S. schools not being equipped to address the social and emotional needs of disadvantaged students; serving as the principal of an Indian American school in New Mexico; her mother not identifying as black but instead American and her father's family preferring that he would have married a white woman; always knowing her grandmother, Lucy Couty as white in contrast to her Negro certificate; family sending her grandmother to a Negro school apart from her siblings, who had European features, because of her more black features; family pressure on her grandmother to marry white but her instead having relationships with black men; defining Creole as the food, the Catholic church, and consanguinity; the Creole Native American, African, German, Spanish, French, and Jewish peoples creating a mixed-race group of people who lived peacefully within their isolated community while under French and Spanish rule; the Creole class hierarchy dictating that whites sit behind them in church; dating dark skinned black men in defiance of her family’s directive to not marry a black; Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer’s Revolutionary War service; her family's history not being the traditional negative narrative of slavery; joining the DAR to preserve her grandmother's legacy after she had been rejected by both blacks and whites; embracing her African, European and American Indian heritage; "I am American before I am anything but even before I am American I am Christian"; feeling the DAR is a beautiful organization; “being American isn't about race but where you were born; the necessity to identify with other black DAR members.
Bianca Alexander's oral history was recorded on October 17, 2020
Membership State: Louisiana
DAR Patriot Ancestor(s)
Metoyer, Claude: Louisana
European Descent Male