Dorothy Barnes Shand

Published 4:48 pm Monday, June 3, 2024

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Dorothy Barnes Shand, who taught first grade for 27 years at Meadowview Elementary School in Selma, Alabama, died on May 29, 2024 at her home in Marion Junction, Alabama. She was 79.

She is survived by her two daughters, Councilor Heather Shand and state Representative Dawne Shand, her son-in-law, Dr. Brian Krisler, and her granddaughter, Mae Shand Krisler, of Newburyport, MA.

Dorothy was hired in 1967 by Superintendent Joseph Pickard when Selma began integrating its public schools. She taught at Frances Thomas School before spending the next 27 years teaching first grade at Meadowview Elementary, where she led its famous children’s circus program. Two generations of students ended the school year performing as lion tamers, magicians, knife throwers, and tightrope walkers. For three decades, she pulled her colleagues and family into this act, always organized at the last minute. Her enthusiasms and laughter made her a much-loved ringmaster, even when she was behind the curtain.

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She was most proud of her ability to teach reading skills to her students. A member of the professional organization, Delta Kappa Gamma, she gave up her position when the organization refused to stop holding its Girl of the Year program at a segregated venue.  A person of fierce convictions, when she said the words, “If I ruled the world,” everyone knew to beware.

The oldest child of Louise Turner Barnes and Walter Braxton Barnes, Dorothy was born in Orrville, Alabama on March 27,1945. She graduated from Orrville High School (’63) and Livingston State College (’67) before spending her career with the Selma Public School System. She is survived by her siblings:  Oliver (Louise) Barnes, Roger (Debbie) Barnes, Michael (Bonita) Barnes, Larry Barnes, Robert Barnes, Donna (Ad) Veal and Dianne (Hank) Gaines, and predeceased by her brothers Ronnie and Billy. She was married for 49 years to James Edward “Buck” Shand, a cattle and dairy farmer, who died in 2018.

In retirement, she became a master gardener and loved cooking for people. A doting grandmother, she made certain that Mae Shand Krisler’s visits were as joyful and fun-filled as her first grade classroom had been.

A spiritual person, Dorothy Shand maintained a lifelong interest in different faiths. At various times in her life, she was a member of the Orrville Baptist, Uniontown Baptist, and Marion Junction Baptist Churches, Immaculate Conception Church in Orrville, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Selma.

A service will be held on June 15th, 10:30 a.m. at St. Paul’s, 210 Lauderdale Street in Selma. Reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to St. Paul’s Wings Ministry (a social daycare program for people with dementia) or the COA Miller Childers’ Food Pantry, 700 J.L. Chestnut Blvd, Selma.