Gertrude Wade was the first black female principal of an inner city school in Pittsburgh. She died last week at age 90. For 15 years, Wade taught at A. Leo Weil Elementary School where she became Asst. Principal in 1961. It wasn't her first attempt at working in education. When she received her teaching degree, she interviewed with the Board of Education, who told her to go South where they hired Negro teachers. She was finally hired at A. Leo Weil where her take home pay was $99 per month.
Only a year after she was hired at A. Leo Weil, Wade was promoted to Principal at Vann Elementary School in the Hill. Wade received racist letters full of threats, but kept her position for the next five years. Then she was off to Larimer Elementary where her expertise and organization was needed. In 1969 she was asked to lead the East Hills Elementary magnet school. She taught until retirement in 1981 to take care of an ailing father.
Described as stubborn by a relative, Wade lived in the Homewood area, a troubled city neighborhood where she resided for 60 years. She had been urged to move by family but refused to leave the area she knew too well.
Wade initially wanted to attend medical school, but because her family could not afford it, she chose to attend the University of Pittsburgh and received a degree in education in 1944. Her parents paid for her education by taking a loan out on the furniture each year to pay the tuition of $150 per month. She got her Masters Degree two years later by attending night school.
As an activist, Wade and her cousin Rachel Poole were members of the Congress of Racial Equality. She did what she could to help students find scholarships and a way to an education.
In her final years, Wade worked with community and church groups to help restore her neighborhood that had deteriorated. The area was once known to be a beacon of black history in the Pittsburgh area.
The late principal is survived by her son, Walton Wade of Atlanta, Georgia and his wife Brenda.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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