Paulette Roberts honored with Beloved Community Award

Retired Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. teacher Paulette Roberts, who has continued her educator role with tutoring local students, dramatic history presentations and more, was named the local African American Pastors Alliance’s Beloved Community Award winner Monday.

The honor was presented in front of an estimated 350 people attending the 26th Annual Rev. Martin Luther King Day Breakfast at The Commons in downtown Columbus. Fred King, who chaired the event, told the crowd that the pastors previously thought Roberts already had won the award a number of years ago.

“That is why she was not recognized much sooner,” King said.

Roberts, who came to Columbus in 1970 and served as the King breakfast keynote speaker just a few years ago, has long been lauded for her passion for teaching both inside and outside the classroom. She has presented single-act vignettes about Black history at places such as the Bartholomew County Public Library during Black History Month and at other times such as Juneteeth when she portrayed characters such as abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

She has coordinated exhibits about Black history dating back years ago at the original Commons.

Award presenter Whitney Gaines, a local middle school teacher, said she has always admired Roberts.

“She’s a whole vibe,” Gaines said. “She deserves all the accolades. She is an example of what it actually looks like to do this (community) work.”

“I’m overwhelmed,” Roberts said at the podium. “But I can’t get an award just because of me. There has to be a village that works along with me.

“You know that I have waded into the waters (of service) with a lot of you.”