When the Winston-Salem Board Of Education announced in 1957 that the new school on Gillette Street would be called John Walter Paisley Junior and Senior High School, many students asked, Who is he?”
Born John Walter Paisley in Guilford County, he was a pioneer educator in our community of Kimberly Park.
Professor Paisley served for 25 years as a school principal in this community, first over the old Oak Street School, 1913-25, and then at the new Kimberley Park School, 1925-40.
He was an educator, a church leader, community worker and. author. He attended the Winston- Salem public schools, ‘being a member of the first graduating class of the old Depot Street School located at Seventh and Patterson Avenue, where the old Patterson Avenue YWCA Center used to stand. He received a bachelor’s degree from Shaw University and his master degree from Columbia University. He was the first principal in Winston-Salem public school to receive the Latter Degree.
Before becoming a principal, Professor Paisley taught Davie County, in Raleigh, North Carolina and at Slater Normal School, Now Winston-Salem State University. He was an authority of the Palmer method of writing. He brought many new ideas to the school system during his career. After leaving, Kimberley Park School, he served two years as principal of Columbia Heights before he retired in 1942. He wrote three books: The Voice of Mizrams, Problems in Cursive Manuscript and Mirror Handwriting and Ras Bravado. His books on handwriting was rated great contribution to education .
In the field of religion, he was esteemed as one of the top lay leaders in the Baptist Church in North Carolina. Locally he served as chairman of the Board of Deacons of First Baptist Church. He also was superintendent of the Sunday school and chorister for the church. On the state level he was recording secretary of the Western Sunday School Convention for 19 years. ‘
Professor Paisley served the community as a grand secretary of the Masons and a member of the Knight of Pythias.
As a private citizen, the educator was married to the former Mamie E. Phifer of Charlotte. They had two children, John W. Paisley, Jr. a practicing physician in North Wilkesboro and Mrs. Mayme Hill-now living in Oakland, California.
Professor Paisley died December 19, 1949, concluding a dedicated life of service to the children of Winston-Salem, the Baptist churches of the state and fraternal organizations of North Carolina,