Our History

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Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom
— Oprah Winfrey

Dr. Ione Louise Dunkley Edwards was the first of three children born to Lockland and Matilda English Dunkley, who migrated to New York, New York from Jamaica, West Indies in the 1920s during the Depression. Ione graduated from George Washington High School in New York City. She earned her undergraduate and masters degrees from Hunter College and her Doctorate from Columbia University. Ione spent her entire career with the New York City Board of Education. She began her career as a science teacher, served as an assistant principal, and retired in 1999 after having served many years as an elementary school principal.

Dr. Ione met and married Theodore U. Edwards in August 1956 and had a daughter, Donna. The family moved to New Rochelle, NY in 1966 where Ione resided until her death.

Dr. Ione was a member of the Council of Supervisors and Administrators and various other professional organizations. She was a 35-year member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; a charter member of the Links Incorporated, Greater Hudson Valley Chapter; a long-term member of the Northeasterners; and a member of the Sophisticates for more than 30 years. Dr. Ione was a faithful member of St. Simon the Cyrenian Episcopal Church in New Rochelle, where she served as a member of the Vestry and many other committees.

Dr. Ione passed away on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.  She was predeceased by her husband. Dr. Ione is survived by her daughter and her beloved granddaughters, Danielle Salone O'Bannon and Dionne Teddie O'Bannon.

Donna, and her daughters, Danielle and Dionne, in partnership with St. Simon the Cyrenian and the Ursuline School, established the scholarship to honor Dr. Edwards’ legacy, and to continue her efforts to promote academic excellence.