A Victorian era award medal for a teacher who worked in the "Colored Public Schools" of Washington and Georgetown, at a time when Washington's school system for black students was considered progressive for its quality. The medal is inscribed "First Honor to Fannie Saunders 1877." She likely taught at the Charles Sumner school, which opened in 1872, and was named for a prominent abolitionist of the day. Although school segregation was challenged as early as the 1840s, Washington schools remained segregated until the 1950s. The medal is hand engraved and in an unusual pentagonal form, which suggests it was her fifth year teaching at the school-- a timeline that aligns with the school's opening in 1872. In 14K gold.