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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Yvonne Scarlett-Golden, She-ro, First Black Mayor of Daytona Beach, Florida, Respected Educator, Dead At Age 80

We are sad to report the demise of another she-ro whom we never had the distinct pleasure to meet. She was courageous. She was a crusader for representing the rights of students and calling attention to a pattern of low expectations for students of color. After her retirement from education, Yvonne Scarlett-Golden was elected the first black female mayor of Daytona Beach, Florida in 2003.

"I am alarmed at the increased number of black and minority students channeled into special education...I am appalled at the expulsion and dropout rates. "

Yvonne Scarlett-Golden at a 1988 meeting of the
San Francisco School Board
Yvonne Scarlett-Golden, a native of Daytona Beach, Florida, graduated from Bethune-Cookman College, an Historically Black College located in the same town. She earned a master's degree in education from Boston University, and in 1999 received an honorary law degree from Bethune-Cookman.

As a teacher at Lincoln High in the 1960s, Ms. Scarlett-Golden earned an "excellent" rating. Yet an effort to move her made the news after she and her union successfully fought the transfer, which she argued was in retaliation for her sponsorship of a Black Student Union and her establishing a memorial for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., assassinated a year earlier.

Ms. Scarlett-Golden spent 20 years as principal of San Francisco's Alamo Park Alternative High School, where most students were poor and either black or Latino. One of her last acts as principal before retiring in 1992 was to persuade the school board to rename the school for Ida B. Wells, a 19th century teacher and journalist who co-founded the NAACP and crusaded against lynching.

Elected to the office of mayor in 2003, Mayor Golden was re-elected in 2005. She was an advocate for the rights of the long-neglected black community in Daytona Beach.

Mayor Yvonne Scarlett-Golden is survived by her brothers, Carlton and Donald Scarlett of Daytona; six grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband in 1987 and daughters Wanda Golden in 1981 and Rosalyn Golden-Delancey in 1997.

Doations may be sent to the Yvonne Scarlett-Golden Memorial Trust, SunTrust Bank, 501 N. Grandview Ave., Daytona Beach, FL 32118.

We extend our sincere condolences to the family of this fearless pioneer.

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