The Margaret Sue Copenhaver Contribution to Education Award recognizes outstanding commitment and work in the field of education. The recipients are selected by the MSCI steering committee through a process that seeks to identify those whose lives echo Margaret Sue's passion for teaching and learning. It is with great pleasure that the Copenhaver Institute presents the eleventh annual Contribution to Education Award to Mrs. Doris Neal Ennis.
Doris Neal Ennis, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, is the daughter of Bert and Minnie Neal, the fifth of six children. She attended North Carolina A & T College, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Her Master in Liberal Arts degree and Certificate of Advanced Studies were earned at Hollins University. Doris also holds administrative endorsements from The Commonwealth of Virginia's Department of Education.
Mrs. Ennis's career in the Roanoke Valley began at Booker T. Washington Jr. High School where she served as an English teacher. She also taught English at Patrick Henry High School and served as assistant principal at William Fleming High School, and principal at William Ruffner Middle School. She retired from Roanoke City Public Schools in 1993.
Since then, Roanoke City Schools has sought Doris out for various special assignments, including school principal and Title I mentor. In 2004, Roanoke City School Board appointed Doris as acting superintendent. In this role, she restored community support for its schools by revitalizing a focus on student achievement. In 2009, Doris served as the acting principal of the new William Fleming High School. She currently serves as the climate and culture consultant at Fleming.
Throughout her 50 years with Roanoke City Public Schools, Doris has been involved with numerous professional endeavors. These include many long-range committees to ensure that all students have an opportunity to engage in a first-rate educational program that stresses core instruction and is technology rich.
Doris is also dedicated to the larger Roanoke community as is seen through numerous awards and honors from civic-service clubs, educational organizations, sororities, and churches. In 2005, Doris was presented with the Key to the City by members of the Roanoke City Council.
For 52 years, Doris has been married to Hugh W. Ennis, her college sweetheart. Their son was Hugh W. Ennis, Jr.