Shirley Hasley (nee Andrews) has devoted her life to educating our children.
On a sponsored trip across the Golden Gate, she was hired as Mill Valley’s first black teacher. The decision was met with trepidation by some parents and others.
On threat of violence, Shirley was forced to seek housing outside the city limits.
In her first year as a teacher, this 22-year-old young woman was assigned to travel with students being bused from Mill Valley to Marin City. It was desegregation in 1965. Was Shirley a natural fit? Hardly. Her presence was resented by many in Marin City.
She was called an “Uncle Tom” and she needed police protection.
Challenged in Mill Valley, resented in Marin City, Shirley wasn’t accepted until she was “discovered” by an advertising executive. Crossing Blithedale Avenue after school, a polaroid photo mailed to New York, a national ad campaign for Coca-Cola — suddenly every parent wanted their child to be in her classroom.
Second born of 13 children. Class president of an all-white high school. Presented as a San Francisco debutante by Willie Brown. Photographed by Richard Avedon for Coca-Cola. Esteemed educator. Co-founder of the Andrews Family Scholarship Foundation…. “Have you seen me?”
Event is at Mill Valley Golf Club House, 267 Buena Vista Avenue.