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Former Dayton Schools Superintendent; Fort Wort and Denver Board Members Remembered

  • James Williams, who served as superintendent of Ohio’s Dayton Public Schools and New York’s Buffalo Public Schools,  passed away Nov. 17, at the age of 77.  

    He served 13 years in the Dayton school district, including as a teacher, guidance counselor, principal and assistant superintendent before becoming superintendent in 1991. During his eight-year tenure, Williams advocated for magnet schools, full-time kindergarten, a mobile health clinic, and free breakfast and lunch for all elementary school students.

    In 1996, he received the Green-Garner Award, the nation’s top award in urban-education leadership, from the Council of the Great City Schools.  

    Williams also served as superintendent of Buffalo Public Schools from 2005 to 2011.

    School Board Members in Fort Worth and Denver Remembered 

    Daphne Brookins, a member of Texas’ Fort Worth Independent School Board, died on Nov. 5 at the age of 54. 

    She first joined the board in 2019 to fill a vacant seat and was then elected to a full term in May 2021. As a board member, Brookins’ focus was to advance opportunities for young women and she also championed early childhood issues and the care and nurturing of young children. 

    “We are deeply saddened by Ms. Brookins’ passing,” said Fort Worth Schools Superintendent Kent Scribner. “She was always focused on students and never allowed any opportunity to further their needs to be lost. She always wanted to ensure that families received resources that allowed stability and a good education for their children.” 

    Sharon Bailey, a former school board member for Denver Public Schools, passed away on Dec. 3. From 1988-1995, she served on the school board and was primary researcher and author of the qualitative study, “An Examination of Student Educator Experiences in Denver Public Schools through the Voices of African American Teachers and Administrators.” The findings of her report led to the establishment of the Denver Public Schools’ African American Equity Task Force. 

    “Dr. Sharon Bailey will be greatly missed and the Board of Education is committed to continuing her legacy through pursuing the various initiatives she began and have now become cornerstones for the Denver Public Schools,” the school board said in a statement.