No variable specified
HISTORY MAKERS
Local educators integrated DCHS faculty in 1967
by Liz Marino
lmarino@neighbornewspapers.com
February 27, 2013 02:38 PM | 1955 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Liz Marino<br>From left, Douglas County educators Georgie Danley, Tonya Shell, representing her mother Priscilla Graham; and Dorothy Sparks – all who live in the Mason Creek school district – were paid tribute to by the students, faculty and staff of Mason Creek Middle School during a Black History Month celebration on Feb. 15.
Staff / Liz Marino
From left, Douglas County educators Georgie Danley, Tonya Shell, representing her mother Priscilla Graham; and Dorothy Sparks – all who live in the Mason Creek school district – were paid tribute to by the students, faculty and staff of Mason Creek Middle School during a Black History Month celebration on Feb. 15.
slideshow
Three women, noted for being the first African-American teachers to integrate Douglas County High School in 1967, were honored during Mason Creek Middle School’s Black History Month celebration on Feb. 15.

The former teachers, Georgie Hall Danley, Dorothy Danley Sparks and Priscilla Graham, all live in the Mason Creek school district and are still active in education and as community leaders.

Each were recognized in the Georgia Senate with resolutions sponsored by District 35 State Sen. Donzella James, D-Atlanta, and District 30 State Sen. Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton.

Due to a death in the family, Graham was represented by her daughter, Tonya Shell.

James presented proclamations to Danley, Sparks and Graham’s daughter, Tonya Shell, commending them for their lifetime of service as educators.

During her speech, James said, “I look forward to this month every year because it is a special opportunity to pay homage to those who made progress in civil rights.”

She told the audience, “It was Frederick Douglass, speaking to whites and blacks, who stated, ‘Remember that we are one, that our cause is one, and that we must help each other, if we would succeed.’”

It was during Danley’s first year of teaching when Douglas County High School integrated its 10th through 12th grade classes. She called this time “one of the most difficult years of her teaching experience.”

She went on to teach math at Lithia Springs, Alexander and Chapel Hill High Schools prior to her retirement.

Danley is married to Leonard Danley Sr., the first African American Magistrate Judge in Douglas County. They have three children, Hope Hall, Leonard Jr. and Leigh Danley McMurty.

Danley’s proclamation commended her for her “efficient, unselfish and dedicated public service to the state of Georgia.

Sparks began her teaching career at Douglas County High School, where she remained until her retirement in 1995.

She served on the board of the Douglasville-Douglas County Water and Sewer Authority for 10 years, three as chairman.

She has been a member of New Mountain Top Baptist Church for over 50 years, and has two daughters, Melody Sparks Saffo and Mandy Sparks Johnson.

Her proclamation called her a “passionate educator to inspire and enlighten countless young minds.”

Graham taught at R.L. Cousins in 1966 and was transferred to Douglas County High School when it integrated in 1967, where she taught until 1972 before taking off time to raise her family.

She has lived in the Winston community since 1984 and is a member of New Mountain Top Baptist Church.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides