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this week ~ back to school
august 28, 2015

Learning sometimes occurs because someone insists that you recognize the excellence in yourself.
new design
learning curves

Rita Pierson spent 40 years as a Texas teacher, administrator + passionate champion for underserved students. She also trained fellow faculty in the art of “teaching on your feet.” The ABCs of her master method? “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.”

As another school year kicks off, it’s time to hit the books + pay homage to outstanding educators like Rita. Here are a few history lessons to share about women who’ve left their mark on the world of learning.


Emma Willard
the trailblazing teacher

Emma Willard_newsletter

"Though well to decorate the blossom, it is far better to prepare for the harvest."
source it! Emma Willard

~ the 16th of 17 children in a Connecticut family that supported equal education
for boys & girls

~ a teacher + principal + popular textbook author

~ the founder of America’s first institution of higher ed for women

Emma Willard formally enrolled in school at age 15. Two years later, the exceptional student was hired as a teacher there.

After more than a decade spent educating women to become charming ladies worth wooing, Emma became frustrated with the frivolous curricula she was forced to oversee. In an impassioned address to the New York legislature, she presented the problem with the state of women’s education ~ “the taste of men, whatever it might happen to be, has been made into a standard for the formation of the female character.” Her solution? A school that would do more than “decorate the blossom” by giving students a solid foundation in math, philosophy, history + science.

The congressmen weren’t convinced, but the governor was. In 1821, Emma opened Troy Female Seminary and eventually made a profit through its pioneering programs. With 8,000 grads + counting, the Emma Willard School is still going strong! This year, it’ll be home to 359 girls, grades 9-12. Discover more about the history-making alums influenced by Emma’s educational principles...

Emma Willard

Sonia Manzano
the street-wise educator

Sonia Manzano_newsletter.jpg

"I grew up to be what I needed to see on television
as a kid."

source it! Sonia Manzano

~ a Nuyorican alum of the High School of Performing Arts {of Fame fame}

~ an aspiring actor who landed a gig playing “Maria” on Sesame Street in 1971

~ an author + standout scriptwriter who won 15 Emmys

Sonia Manzano retired last month after 44 years as an actor + writer for the world’s most popular children’s television program. Not to mention, one of the most effective “informal educators” for learning outside the classroom.

Sesame Street was the show Sonia longed for as a kid. The Bronx-born girl had a chaotic childhood. She turned to tv for solace from the violence and alcoholism at home but didn’t see anyone like her or anywhere like her neighborhood on the small screen. As one of the first Latinas to appear on mainstream media, Sonia helped ensure today’s kids see themselves reflected in society.

The woman we know as “Maria” was never shy about sharing her experiences with Sesame Street’s young audiences, even scripting her real-life marriage + pregnancy into the show. Hear more about the Sesame Street star’s fav memories from the Fix-It Shop...

Sonia Manzano

Jill Biden
the full-time prof

Jill Biden_newsletter.jpg

"Community colleges are America’s best-kept secret, and it is time to let the secret out."
source it! Jill Biden

~ a self-described “Philly girl” who fell for a young widowed senator from Delaware

~ an English + education expert who has taught in high schools for 13 years + community colleges for more than 20

~ the first second lady in US history to hold a paying job

This fall, Jill Biden is teaching a full load {5 English courses} at Northern Virginia Community College. NVCC is the 2nd largest school in a nationwide network of community colleges. Or, as “Dr. B” would say, the country’s “best-kept secret.”

During her husband’s two terms as VP, Jill has done her part to let the secret out. She’s led promotional tours, keynoted at conferences + held the first White House Summit on Community Colleges. Why is the educator so keen? They boost the economy by training skilled workforces tailored towards local industries. They offer flexible + affordable postsecondary ed to diverse student bodies. And most importantly, they give students “the opportunity to grow into the people they aspire to be.”

As a working mother who raised 3 children while teaching, earning 3 graduate degrees + supporting her husband’s political career, Jill relates to her nontraditional students. See more about why Jill’s students are her heroes + how they’re inspiring US education policy...

Jill Biden

back-to-school specials
Learn from today’s featured quoteurs + support Quotabelle’s mission to get more women & girls into our textbooks.
coming soon…
market place

Dont Forget God Bless Troops
Emma Willard School
Becoming Maria Chaos South Bronx
Sesame Street Celebration Years Life
Library Sesame Editors Publications International

Quotabelle news   who said it?

Quotabelle has a backbone in higher ed ~ starting with our chief editor.

Alicia taught English + women’s studies at Pitt before joining our team. “Dr. W” has plenty of ideas about how to use our custom storytelling platform to bring women’s voices into 21st century curriculums.

Stay tuned for Quotabelle lesson plans + tips for teachers! And, our upcoming campaign ~ #QuotesintheClass...

"Education is the key to opportunity, and the opportunity is not equal." 
"You teach what you need to learn." 
"There is learning for the sake of learning and learning for the sake of leading." 

from our #citeseers
Lessons from the 8-year-old who started the “No Backpack Day” movement to raise awareness + collect supplies for underprivileged students...

How can a child look into the future with hope when something as common as a backpack is difficult for them to have. I define Hope as, ‘Helping Other People Exist.

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