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Title Oral History of Shirley Hasley
Collection Oral History
Scope & Content In this oral history interview, beloved elementary school teacher Shirley Hasley discusses not only her 38-year career in Mill Valley, but the people, experiences and attitudes that helped shape her steadfast convictions. Shirley (nee Andrews) moved with her family from Oklahoma to California in 1943. Growing up in a farm-like environment on the edge of Bakersfield, Shirley learned to work hard and take pride in what she did. Shirley tells how, even with 13 of their own children, her parents created a foster home for around 250 boys, girls, and adults over the course of their lifetimes - their generosity partially a product of the family's strong religious faith. This same faith taught Shirley to "turn the other cheek" in response to negativity, a behavior she employed in the face of prejudice throughout her life, and particularly as the first African American teacher in Mill Valley in the 1960s. Shirley's initial move to the Bay Area was precipitated by Willie Brown, who awarded her a scholarship to San Francisco State University and presented her to the city as a debutante. The beginning of Shirley's career at Park Elementary School was no less eventful: in her first year, Shirley took part in the school district's desegregation program as a teacher in Marin City and faced resistance from both the Marin City and the Mill Valley communities. Alongside the resistance came support from some, and throughout her oral history, Shirley traces her gradual acceptance into the Mill Valley community and its glowing recognition of her dedication to teaching. Shirley recounts how some of this acceptance initially came from a surprising offer to appear in a Coca-Cola ad, but came to encompass her classroom abilities and teaching philosophy. After retiring from her position at Edna Maguire Elementary School, Shirley continued to give back by promoting affordable housing and building a women's shelter with characteristic verve and energy.

Editor's note: The recording for this oral history is not available. A later 2013 oral history interview, with transcript and recording, is available in the History Room.
Audio and Transcript Click here to read the transcript.
Dates of Creation 2007-05-09

Narrator's name Hasley, Shirley
Interviewer Krauss, Carolyn
Extent and Medium Transcript: 25pp
Search Terms Affordable housing
Andrews, Dolly
Andrews, Violet
Andrews, Walter
Avedon, Richard
Brown, Willie
Cherry, Don
Di Giovanni, Anton
Edna Maguire School
Fitzgerald, Ella
Foster home care
Foster parents
Frieberg, Bonnie
Hasley, Jim
Hasley, Johle
Marin City
Mill Valley changes
Park School
Race discrimination
Race relations
Skelton, Glen
Teaching methods
Terwilliger Award
Waldeck, Clifford
Object ID 2016.075.001
Object Name Recording
Copyrights Transcript and recording copyright Mill Valley Public Library, 2007. Materials are made available for research purposes only; all rights are reserved to the Mill Valley Public Library. Requests for permission to quote for publication or for any other usage must be obtained from the Library.