Interview with Dale Cushinberry, Historian Retired Principal of Highland Park High Topeka

CMG’s Series features some of the top Black Educators in the Midwest that have been inducted into the Wichita Black Educators Hall of Fame.
Dale Cushinberry earned All-American honors while playing on the Hornet basketball team for three and a half seasons from 1966-69.

The Topeka, Kan. native transferred to Emporia State after one semester at Kentucky State. He was the fourth leading scorer for the Hornets as a sophomore before exploding on the scene as a junior and senior. During his junior season in 1967-68, he established a school record with a 24.3-point scoring average, a mark that currently ranks fourth on the Emporia State single-season list while his 21.8-point average in 1968-69 ranks tenth.

An NAIA All-American, Cushinberry ended his career as the top rebounder and second-leading career scorer in Hornet basketball history with 1,352 points and 704 boards in just 75 games.

Before the Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education decision, Cushinberry attended the all-black Buchanan Elementary School in Topeka. After the Brown decision, he attended the closer Central Park Elementary.

“The interesting thing about it is our neighborhood was integrated, and so the change of schools wasn’t as big a problem for the kids as it was for the adults. Because we already played ball together,” he told Topeka Magazine in the winter of 2010.

Cushinberry graduated from Highland Park HS in 1965. He would retire as principal at Highland Park in 2010 capping off a career of nearly 40 years in education. He worked as a K-12 grade teacher, counselor, and administrator in the Topeka school system.

He was a charter member of the ESU Athletics Hall of Honor in 1982, was named an ESU Distinguished Alumnus in 2012 and his #42 is enshrined on the wall of White Auditorium.

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