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Garnet C. Wilkinson (1879-1969) was a committed educational and civic leader for more than 60 years. Born in South Carolina, he moved to Washington as a child. Here he attended Birney Elementary School, M Street High School (where he later taught), and Howard University, where he received a law degree. He served as principal of Armstrong High School and Dunbar High School and in 1924 became first assistant superintendent in charge of colored schools. He served in this position until 1951. Under the organization of the DC public schools before Brown vs. Board of Education, the white superintendent of schools led two separate systems, but the assistant superintendent for colored schools effectively ran that division. Dr. Wilkinson was also one of the first high school coaches in the city.

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