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Dr. Sharon Bailey, longtime leader in Denver Public Schools, dies

Bailey is being remembered for her efforts to improve racial equity in education.

DENVER — A woman who spent her life fighting for Black students in Denver Public Schools (DPS) has died.

The district said Dr. Sharon Bailey, 68, passed away at her home Friday night.

Bailey was first elected to the school board in 1988 and served until 1995.

After her service on the board, she researched education policy.

Her 2016 report on the racism experienced by African American students and staff led the district to create the Denver Public Schools African American Equity Task Force.

"The DPS Community today is heartbroken at the loss of our treasured colleague Dr. Sharon Bailey, who passed away [Friday] night while at home," a statement from the district read. "Dr. Bailey touched the lives and inspired the work of so many in our community, and her contributions will be felt for generations to come. She was a brilliant and dedicated leader and equity champion who worked tirelessly to help ensure all children have access to a quality education and to highlight the urgent need for a deeper understanding of the experiences of African-American students and educators in Denver in order to drive improvements and honor Black excellence. We stand together in grief at her sudden loss and in strength to continue her work, inspired by her expertise and passion."

The DPS Board of Education also released a statement, saying they were "shocked and deeply saddened" by her passing. 

"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 board's statement read.

Her last role with the district was as ombudsperson for DPS.

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