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Mother Mae Winbush is still paving the way for children to access quality education

Women's History Spotlight: Mae Winbush, founder of Gethsemane Christian Academy
Posted at 6:25 PM, Mar 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-23 19:25:59-04

Many parents and children in Acadiana refer to Mother Mae Winbush as a living legend.

Winbush is the founder and trailblazer of Gethsemane Christian Academy, a private school in Lafayette for children in pre-k through eighth grade.

She started the school back in 1979 and today, children are still using the Abeka curriculum she said she introduced to the community more than forty years ago.

"This is something I've dedicated my life to and even though I've traveled all over the world and everywhere consequently, I always pride myself in not only having this school, but supporting a school in Haiti," Winbush said.

Today, Winbush is recognized as a retired principal, teacher and philanthropist, not only in Acadiana, but in Haiti too.

Winbush said she believes no child should be left behind.

"The uniqueness about this is school is that if they're not doing well, then they can get the help in the areas in which they need it," Winbush said. "I never had the feeling a child should be retained. If the ability is there and I can't judge every child by the same standards."

Londyn Gatlin is a fourth grade student at her great-grandmother's school— Gethsemane Christian Academy. Londyn said her great-grandmother's school provides opportunities for children who need it the most.

"I would say it's mostly for colored kids," Londyn said. "Colored kids don't have a lot of abilities to have schools like this, so I'm grateful."

Winbush said although she no longer travels out of the country, she still contributes to orphanages and supports children getting an education at the Roy Mae Winbush School in Haiti.

"If you love children and you love seeing children learn, it's important that you invest in them," Winbush said. "I now have a scholarship and development fund that not only helps children to come here, but I help children to go to college."