Local education leader dies after battle with cancer

Former DeKalb County Board of Education member Zepora Roberts died Jan. 21 at the age of 78 after a long battle with cancer, according to a school district spokesperson.

DeKalb County Board of Education and Interim Superintendent Vasanne Tinsley made the announcement on Jan. 23 in a letter to DeKalb County School District (DCSD) teachers and staff. 

Roberts served on the DeKalb County School Board as the District 7 representative from 2002 to 2010. She was also active in the NAACP DeKalb County branch for many years, serving as education chair and vice president.

“Throughout her life, Ms. Zepora Roberts was a tireless champion for DeKalb County students,” said Tinsley. “I always admired her compassionate and thoughtful leadership. Well beyond her years on the Board of Education, she remained engaged in advocating for children of all ages, from all backgrounds, and in all situations. I am privileged to have worked with her in the pursuit of better educational outcomes for all.”

The announcement from board of education officials said that Roberts did “instrumental work with the Georgia Head Start Association Program,” which provides complimenary learning resources to low-income families in Georgia.    

Her life’s work brought her many accolades, including the Pillars of Power Award won in December, an “Unsung Hero” award from U.S. Congressman Hank Johnson, and as a “Living Legend” by DCSD’s chapter of the My Sister’s Keeper program last March.    

“Zepora has been a lifelong member of our branch and [a] community activist. Please take a moment to pray for her family and loved ones as they prepare for her homegoing,” said an NAACP DeKalb spokesperson.

Roberts lived in Decatur, and her family hosted a celebration of life service on Jan. 28 at Greenforest Community Church in Decatur. 

Those wishing to express their condolences are asked to do so at levettfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Zepora-Roberts/#!/TributeWall. The link also contains options for sending flowers and memorial gifts to the family. 

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