Dolores Silas served a long and distinguished career as an educator and public administrator. She began her teaching career at Delong Elementary School, after which she became principal, making her the first Black woman to serve as an administrator in Tacoma Public Schools.
She continued her trailblazing by becoming the first Black woman to serve on the Tacoma City Council and the city’s first Black deputy mayor. Dolores was an outspoken voice on race and social justice in the community, operating in many roles including that of President of the Tacoma Chapter of the NAACP.
In 2019, Dolores was honored with a Lifetime Service Award from the city of Tacoma along with a Star of Destiny Award from the Tacoma Historical Society. In 2020, the Tacoma Public School Board of Directors voted to change the name of Woodrow Wilson High School to Dr. Dolores Silas High School, in honor of her many contributions to education in the city of Tacoma.
Feature adapted from tribute displayed at the Tacoma Art Museum.
About Hidden Heroes
The city of Lakewood’s MLK Committee is excited to honor pioneers in the overlapping Clover Park School District and local Black communities. Hidden Heroes is an initiative that highlights and celebrates the many contributions of Black students, staff and community leaders within the Lakewood area during the weeks of Black History Month.
We invite recipients to share this with others in hopes that it sparks dialogue around the important roles those of the Black diaspora have and continue to play in shaping our country and community.
To learn about other hidden heroes, visit the Lakewood Pierce County Library and explore the Black History Month display, or find books, movies and more online any time at www.piercecountylibrary.org.