Chalkboard Champions: Twelve Remarkable Teachers Who Educated America’s Disenfranchised Students


Terry Lee Marzell has been an educator in Corona, California, for the past thirty-one years, working at both the high school and the junior high school levels. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in interdisciplinary studies from California State University. She lives in Chino Hills, California, with her husband, Hal.

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A California strawberry farmer. A female cattle rancher. A West Virginia coal miner. A Bolivian immigrant. What do these individuals have in common? Each one achieved recognition as a gifted and dedicated teacher who worked with some of America’s most disenfranchised and disadvantaged students.

Among the captivating stories included in this volume is that of Charlotte Forten Grimke, an African American born into freedom in the North, who during the Civil War volunteered to teach emancipated slaves in a South Carolina school established just behind the battle lines. Read the gripping eyewitness account of the Wounded Knee Massacre by teacher Elaine Goodale Eastman, the talented New England child poet who founded a school for Sioux Indians on a South Dakota reservation. Also included are the fascinating stories of Leonard Covello, the Italian immigrant turned school teacher who enlisted in the US Army during WWI to fight alongside his students, and educator Mary Tsukamoto, imprisoned in a WWII Japanese internment camp. Read about Mississippi Freedom Summer teacher Sandra Adickes who, together with her students, defied the Jim Crow laws of the South and integrated the Hattiesburg Public Library. Marvel at the pioneering work of Anne Sullivan Macy, the teacher of Helen Keller; the efforts of Clara Comstock to find homes for thousands of Orphan Train riders; and the dedication of Jaime Escalante, the East LA educator who proved to a skeptical establishment that inner city Latino youths could successfully meet the demands of a rigorous curriculum.

The inspirational life stories of twelve remarkable educators and the historical implications of their pioneering work are revealed in this intriguing collection of Chalkboard Champions.



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