February 25, 2021

Orie Greene – Pioneer for Black Educators in Seattle

Orie Greene was born in 1922 and dedicated her life to education. She was a pioneer for Black female educators and became the first African American hired in the Bremerton school district. Once Orie and her family moved to Seattle in 1953, she continued her distinguished teaching career working in various Seattle Public Schools elementary schools. Orie taught many successful students, one of which continued to serve on Bill Clinton’s cabinet during his presidency. After teaching for years, she decided to earn her Master’s degree and administrative credentials in 1971, catapulting her career as principal of University Heights Elementary School. Orie believed that all of her students could be successful, no matter the color of their skin. 

After 30 years of teaching, Orie retired but continued to serve her community participating in local organizations. She even served as president of Black Professional Educators. In her free time while retired, Orie enjoyed going to the symphony, opera, and theater. She also loved to travel. Orie eventually moved into Bayview where all of the arts and entertainment she loved in Seattle was right at her fingertips. Bayview was privileged to have Orie as a resident and community member until she passed away in 2005.

Orie’s legacy lives on in her family, friends, and the thousands of students that she influenced during her career as an educator. 

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Seattle, WA 98119

Phone: (206) 284-7330