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  • Chelsea McElroy

Happy International Women's Day!


I want to take the time on International Women’s Day to recognize a truly phenomenal woman right here in Tacoma. My grandmother, Mrs. Fay Curry.


Before she was my grandma, she worked as a civilian on military bases where Grandpa was stationed. She was a hard worker and a quick learner gaining skills and networking across the color lines, as things were at those times. Mrs. Curry successfully managed a household, a full time job, 2 part time jobs as a cake decorator and a seamstress, was a foster mom, balanced the family’s finances and was able to procure a home in Tacoma’s North End community. My grandma fearlessly desegregated a community and planted herself in the school district to ensure her children were safe.


As a parent she witnessed her children integrating Tacoma Public Schools and prayed for them everyday. She partnered with the principal of Mason Middle School, taking the time to educate him about how Black children feel in the school setting. Her office became a resource to parents, teachers and school administrators around the district.


Mrs. Curry worked hard to change and dismantle systems that overworked secretaries and office coordinators in our school district. Her work became part of the training for up-and-coming coordinators who now work within the district.

In 1984, as President of the secretary’s union, Mrs. Curry oversaw the combining of the teacher’s and secretary’s unions, ensuring secretaries shared protective factors in their contracts as TPS employees. Mrs. Curry retired from TPS in 1999 and continued to work as a sub until 2012.


My grandmother instilled in me that “education can never be stolen from you”. She made cookies and shared stories of the past. I read my book reports to her and went to her church. We participated in the Singing Christmas Tree together for years and I love going to her house for holidays to eat home made desserts and Mac’N’Cheese! She was one of the first people I told about running for school board and I have her full support. I am forever grateful for all of the foundation she laid in my life and that is why today on International Women’s Day, I invite Tacoma to celebrate my grandmother, Mrs. Fay Curry.


I am a proud descendant of TPS employees and that is why I am running for school board.


You can support my run by donating today: https://secure.anedot.com/chelsea-mcelroy/donate


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