1906 – 2004
Corinthian Clay Nutter was a teacher who fought to expand educational opportunities for her students. She was born in Forney, Texas. Her family relocated frequently as her parents sought work, and Nutter had to drop out of school at age 14. She moved to Kansas City in 1922, managed to earn her high school degree in 1936, and went on to graduate from Western University. In 1938, she obtained her Kansas teaching license and took a position at Merriam’s Walker Elementary School, a segregated institution that lacked indoor plumbing and other modern amenities.
When a new school opened in the city in 1947 and African American students were not permitted to attend, Nutter joined a boycott of the dilapidated school and organized a home school for children in the community. The aggrieved group sued and won a case, Webb v. School District No. 90, that reached the Kansas Supreme Court and opened the doors of the new school to African Americans. Nutter continued her own education and advanced her career, eventually becoming the principal of Westview Elementary School in Olathe, Kansas. She retired in 1972, and is remembered for her role in school desegregation.