African American Builders of Topeka: Dr. Beryl Ann Massey New
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths.” —Proverbs 3:5-6
HER STORY Dr. Beryl New has spent her life dedicated to education. As a young child, she loved organizing activities that involved teaching others. This desire grew to become her passionate profession later in her life.
After high school, she enrolled in secretarial college, but then married and began a family. When she had six children, Beryl enrolled in Washburn University and graduated with high honors, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1988. She then began her career doing what she felt she was called to do—teaching English at her alma mater, Topeka High School.
She later earned her master’s in educational administration from Washburn in 2001, followed by a doctor of education degree from the University of Kansas in 2007. During her administrative career, she served for five years at Lawrence High School as an assistant principal and then the associate principal.
While a principal of Highland Park High School from 2010 to 2016, she helped guide it through a multiyear school improvement plan funded in part by federal grant dollars. In 2015, the Topeka Chamber honored her with its Women of Influence award.
Nearly thirty years after beginning her education career, Beryl is still passionate about making sure children succeed in school.