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Terrific Women Teachers

Second Story Press | The Women's Hall of Fame Series

The most memorable teachers are often our role models, who taught by example. Terrific Women Teachers, the seventeenth installment in Second Story Press’ Women’s Hall of Fame Series, captures the lives of ten inspirational women who will energize educators and students alike. These women fought for better educational systems and believed everyone, regardless of gender or physical ability, deserved an equal opportunity to improve themselves. Each of them made a difference in the lives of their students and gave them the joy of learning.

Two of the women profiled are Maria Montessori and Annie Sullivan. At the turn of the last century Montessori became the first female doctor in Italy, and after working with disabled children she founded the Montessori method of self-directed learning. Montessori schools are still popular all over the world, with more than 3,000 in the United States alone. Annie Sullivan, the “miracle worker,” is paired in her chapter with her pupil Helen Keller. Annie found the bridge for Helen and other deaf and blind individuals to communicate with the world.

Other teachers profiled in this inspiring collection are Christa McAuliffe, a high school teacher who lost her life in the space shuttle Challenger disaster; Onesime Dorval, a Native Metis educator; Denise Fruchter, a special education teacher with tourettes syndrome; Malalai Joya, who campaigned for girls’ education in Afghanistan; Raden Ayu Kartini, who campaigned for the education of women in Indonesia; Erin Gurswell, founder of Freedom Writers; Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, who taught art in the Terezin Ghetto during WWII; and Marva Collins, an African American teacher dedicated to improving schools in US cities.


Helen Wolfe has been a teacher for more than thirty years. Her students have ranged from kindergarten to grade twelve. In her career, she has focused on teaching English, ESL, Special Education, and History. For more than twenty years she has been working with adults, many of whom speak English as a second language. Helen lives with her family in Toronto.

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