On Thursday, February 28, 2019, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors honored Helen J. Wallace during their regular monthly board meeting at the Central Services Building Auditorium, 5225 West Vliet Street. Helen has the distinction of being the first African American woman to serve in the Office of the Superintendent. She was recruited by MPS in 1967 to serve as an assistant to the librarian at Rufus King High School.
In 1975 she was offered the position as Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent. Helen was initially unsure if she should apply. Having recently lost her husband, Willie L. Wallace, Jr., she was not sure she could handle the increased responsibilities and continue to be a supportive mother to her two sons, Jerel, 12, and Maurice, 10. and stepdaughter Jana Williams. However, with encouragement and support of her family, she accepted the position.
Helen served under nine school superintendents as their administrative assistant until 2001, when the newly appointed superintendent brought in his own staff. Her final job title with MPS before retirement in 2002 was Administrative Assistant in the Office of Student Services. Now retired, Helen has devoted much of her free time to volunteer work with breast cancer survivors and traveling. On February 15, 2019, Helen was honored at the 34th Annual Black Excellence awards for Extraordinary Achievement.