Mona Humphries Bailey
Mona Humphries Bailey was someone who left the world far better than she found it. She was a success because she lived well, laughed often and loved much. She was defined by her three passions; Family, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and K-12 Education.
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In her thirty-two year career in public education, Mona worked to promote equity and excellence for all students. She has served as an education administrator and as Assistant and Deputy Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, and as Assistant State Superintendent in the Washington State Office of Public Instruction.
In her retirement, she continued to remain active in many Seattle based education and advocacy organizations to reform K-12 education. She also served as the Head of School and the Mistress of Generals for The Forest Ridge Sacred Heart School and was a member of the Washington State Board of Education.
Mona received many awards throughout her lifetime including, but not limited to one of the 100 Black Influential Black Americans, The Who's Who Among Women, and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc highest bestowed Mary Church Terrell Award. One of Mrs. Bailey’s significant contributions, in Washington was a product of her work as co-chair of a state advisory committee created by the Legislature.
In 2008 she led the development of a plan to close the achievement gap between Black students and their classmates through four key areas: teacher quality, early learning, graduation rates and post- secondary education. Her push for helping black children overcome barriers was personal; Mona grew up in the small town of Apalachicola, FL. She enrolled in and graduated from Florida A&M University in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. At the time and persisting to today, African Americans and Women are vastly underrepresented in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
Mona was also committed as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She served as the 17th National President from 1979 to 1983. She always wore red to honor the organization. The Seattle chapter of the sorority holds an annual “Mona H. Bailey STEM Day” for third-grade students at Pacific Science Center, where she was on the board of directors for more than 15 years.
Mona Humphries Bailey was a visionary, yet a realist. She was insistent in a remarkably graceful way. She was insistent, yet welcoming and warm. She was completely devoted to serving others. She modeled what it meant to be a woman of influence in many spheres. She always encouraged others to aim high and to accept nothing short of excellence -- her standards were high with remarkable grace.