Missouri State Senate
Biography for Senator Wilson

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson was elected to the Missouri Senate in November 2004 after serving five years in the Missouri House of Representatives. Sen. Wilson holds a leadership position in the upper chamber as Minority Caucus Secretary and represents a portion of Jackson County in the Missouri Senate.

Sen. Wilson serves on a number of important committees, including the Senate Appropriations Committee; the Senate Education Committee; the Senate Seniors, Families and Public Health Committee; the Joint Committee on Economic Development Policy and Planning; the Joint Committee on Education; the Missouri Emancipation Day Commission; the Missouri Health Facilities Review Commission; and the Second State Capitol Commission.

A Kansas City native, Sen. Wilson completed her undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate studies in higher education in the state of Missouri. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Lincoln University (Jefferson City, MO) in 1950, her Master of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1971, and an Education Specialist degree in school administration in 1976. Because of her dedication to education, Lincoln University bestowed upon Sen. Wilson the Honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree in 1991.

Prior to her legislative duties, Sen. Wilson spent 35 years with the Kansas City School District as a teacher, consultant, and principal. She retired from the position as Director of Elementary Education in 1985. The first African-American to serve as President of the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals, Sen. Wilson later became a candidate for President-elect of the 25,000 member National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Sen. Wilson is a member of numerous committees and organizations:

Through her involvement with NBCSL, Sen. Wilson has co-authored the committee's nationally published "Closing The Achievement Gap: Improving Education Outcomes for African American Children."

Sen. Wilson is also heavily involved with her community. Community membership includes President of the Spirit of Freedom Fountain Foundation, Inc.; City of Fountains Board of Directors (Kansas City); Mid-America Regional Council Early Learning Board; Kansas City Sister Cities Association; Sheraton Estates Neighborhood Association; Lincoln University Alumni Association; and the Saint Louis Catholic Church.

Many of these organizations have presented Sen. Wilson with local, state, and national awards and recognitions. Recent awards include: the Missouri Park and Recreation Association's "Public Official Achievement Award," the Friends of the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center "Living Legacy Award," and the honorary title of "Missouri Pioneer in Education Award" for distinguished and devoted service to public education in Missouri.

Even though she was born and raised in the Kansas City area, Sen. Wilson has managed to travel the globe to places such as Russia, Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, England, France, Tanzania, and China. Her world travels have provided her opportunities of a lifetime and affords her the chance to apply her worldly studies to issues that affect Missourians today, either in Jefferson City or her hometown.

Sen. Wilson currently resides in Kansas City with her husband of 57 years, Jim. The couple have three children: Berishia Wilson Chamberlain, Alycia Rodriguez Nichols, and James E. (Jay) Wilson (deceased). Sen. Wilson and her husband are blessed with six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

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