Longtime DPS leader Dr. Sharon Bailey, champion for equity, dies at 68

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Longtime Denver Public Schools leader Dr. Sharon Bailey, known for her leadership in equity, has died.

Bailey died over the weekend at her home. She was 68 years old.

Those who knew her said that her dedication to equity — allowing educators and children to break through the unforgiving barriers of race and class — made her special and unforgettable.

“Dr. Bailey was one of the main inspirations for me to run for office, and particularly run for school board, as she was one of my predecessors,” said state Rep. Jennifer Bacon, formerly DPS board vice president.

“She inspired me to want to be a part of what we were doing in Denver public education to be sure that the entire community knew about the excellence of Black people,” Bacon said.

Her commitment to improving DPS spanned decades.

Bailey served as an elected member of Denver Public Schools Board of Education from 1988-1995.

She was focused on educational equity and later produced her paramount report on the topic, commissioned by DPS, which interviewed African-American teachers and administrators on their experiences.

In response, the district created the African-American Equity Task Force to help close opportunity gaps.

In a statement, the DPS board said, in part, that “Dr. Bailey dedicated her life to ensuring African-American students, educators, and families were equipped with the tools they deserved for quality learning that reflected the voices and stories of the African American community.”

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