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Marie Greenwood (1912–2019), pioneering Denver teacher

by Kirk Fox

Fought segregation as one of the first black teachers hired by Denver Public Schools.

Marie Greenwood was one of the first black teachers hired by the Denver public school system. She was a pioneer who fought against segregation in Denver institutions. After being told by her high school principal that college would be a waste of time and she would end up as hired help, she graduated third in her class at what is now the University of Northern Colorado. In the 1940s, she worked to convince restaurants and shops in Denver to serve African Americans. After retiring from teaching, she volunteered for early learning programs and wrote an autobiography. She passed away nine days shy of her 107th birthday.

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Died: Friday, November 15, 2019 (Who else died November 15?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 106.

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What they said about her: “With great sadness, we announce the passing of beloved alumna and educator Marie Greenwood ’35. Marie was the first African-American teacher hired on contract by Denver Public Schools. She leaves behind a shining legacy that the entire UNC community is proud to celebrate.” —University of Northern Colorado

“Marie Greenwood was and will continue to be an inspiring figure in our education community. A trailblazer in so many ways, Marie never gave up on the idea that every child can learn. She will be missed, but her tenacity and dedication will live on in the many lives she touched.” —U.S. Senator for Colorado Michael Bennet

Full obituary: Denver Post

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