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Mrs. Hazel Harvey Peace

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Hazel Harvey Peace, who taught at I.M. Terrell High School for almost 50 years and helped generations of African-American students in Fort Worth, has died. She was 100.

"I can think of no better way to describe Hazel Harvey Peace than to say she was the consummate teacher," said Superintendent Melody Johnson in a statement distributed by the Fort Worth school district. "She loved her work, she loved her students and she worked tirelessly to help others understand the importance of education for all children in our community."

Peace graduated from Fort Worth Colored High School at age 13, then returned to her alma mater, renamed Terrell High School, to teach at age 16 after earning a degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

She taught English and coached debate and eventually became vice principal of the school before retiring in 1972.

According to Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks, a former student, the enduring influence of the veteran educator is incalculable.

“Mrs. Peace, through her decades-long service at historic I. M. Terrell High School, has had a deep and lasting impact on generations of African-American students she encountered along the way,” Brooks said in a news release. “She modeled before us the values of excellence, hard work, and fair play.”

The University of North Texas announced an endowed professorship in Peace's name last August at her 100th birthday celebration. She is the first African-American woman to be honored with an endowed professorship at a Texas public university.

At the luncheon announcing the scholarship, the retired Terrell librarian, Adelene Jones, said: "Her students learned more Shakespeare from her than in college. She taught Macbeth until they knew it by heart."

Published in Star-Telegram from June 9 to June 14, 2008
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