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The Passing of Peggy Cooper Cafritz

The Passing of Peggy Cooper Cafritz

Sunday, February 18, 2018 – 2:00PM

It is with great sadness that we learned this weekend of the death of our co-founder, Peggy Cooper Cafritz.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to her sons Zach and Cooper and her entire family.  Peggy was a passionate and fearless advocate for the Duke Ellington School, arts education and education in general.  She personally improved the lives of thousands of DC children during her lifetime and left as a lasting legacy, one of the world’s premiere arts high schools.  We will miss her terribly yet remain committed to continuing her great work.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dear Friends,

Over the weekend, DCPS lost an extraordinary member of our community, Peggy Cooper Cafritz. Peggy founded the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in 1974. Because of Peggy, students at Duke Ellington have the opportunity to grow as artists and pursue their creative passions wherever they may lead.

As Mayor Bowser said, Peggy was “one of Washington’s most inspiring and generous visionaries and activists. Her belief in our young people and her dogged determination to break down barriers was matched by the extraordinary persistence and leadership needed to bring her vision to life.”

We are saddened by this great loss and are grateful for Peggy’s countless contributions to our students, the arts community, and this city. On behalf of the DCPS community, our condolences go out to Peggy’s family and friends during this difficult time. We know Peggy’s legacy will continue throughout the District of Columbia and across the nation, as Duke Ellington School of the Arts continues to graduate the nation’s most talented artists.


DC Public Schools