Tribute ceremony held for legendary educator Sarah Moore Greene

Tribute ceremony held for legendary Knoxville educator Sarah Moore Greene

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During the ceremony in the gym, students sang songs of tribute to Sarah Moore Greene. During the ceremony in the gym, students sang songs of tribute to Sarah Moore Greene.
Greene during one of the celebrations with students Greene during one of the celebrations with students

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - One of Knoxville's most influential educators and Civil Rights activists was honored Friday morning at the elementary school in East Knoxville that bears her name.

Sarah Moore Greene passed away in August at the age of 102.

Students at Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Technology Academy not only celebrated her life, but also the work she did for their school and the wider community.

The school was named after Greene in 1974.

She visited the school each year to celebrate her birthday with the students, so it was appropriate that on Friday, the one month anniversary of her death, the students celebrated her entire life.

"We're doing this program today to prove how much we love her and we miss her," said fifth grader Eliza Croom.

During the ceremony in the gym, students sang songs of tribute to Greene, who helped pave the way for their education.

"Sarah Moore Greene was a pioneer and an icon. But above all else, Sarah Moore Greene was an educator," said Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre.

Greene helped lay the foundation for schools in Knoxville as the first black member of the Knoxville Board of Education.

She was also a former state and local president of the NAACP, and an avid supporter of civil rights in schools.

"She was actually one of the folks who worked hard to ensure, advocated for and ensured that we had kindergarten in the state of Tennessee," McIntyre said.

Greene has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of students in Knoxville, but her namesake school was dearest to her heart.

"It's actually special because talking to someone that your school is represented after. She's nice. She's sweet. She's everything that somebody would want to be," Croom said.

Those personal interactions between Greene and the students at the school was perhaps her most enduring legacy.

"Literally and figuratively it opened our kids' eyes to what the possibilities are for what they could do with their lives and the power of standing up and saying this is what we need to do. This is what's right for our kids and our community. That's what Mrs. Greene spent her life doing," McIntyre said.

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