Teaching Years

Knoxville School Board Resolution – School Named After Sarah Moore Greene

Sarah Moore Greene “Kiddie Kollege”

Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy

After graduating from Tennessee A&I in Nashville, for two years she taught 29 students, ranging from first- to eighth-graders in a one room school in Shady Grove in Monroe County, Tennessee. At age 21, she came to Knoxville, intent on pursuing further education at Knoxville College. But her father fell ill, so she had to work and care for him. She worked different jobs, including caring for children of a white family and laboring as a maid at the Standard Knitting Mill. 

Ms. Greene, who had an interest in helping disadvantaged children, noticed that no early training was available to black youngsters. So she started her own kindergarten in the 1940s, the Sarah Moore Greene Kiddy Kollege, at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Ms. Greene ran her school for 20 years.

Establishing early-childhood education at Knoxville City Schools became a platform on which she ran for the city school board. In 1969, she became its first black member. Within a year in office, early-childhood training was instituted in all city schools.