Listee Features — Education

J. SUE FLETCHER

Everything J. Sue Fletcher did throughout her career was to help others. She set her sights on nursing as a child because she wanted to have a meaningful impact on the world. With the support of her family, particularly her grandfather, who believed she could do whatever she set her mind to, Dr. Fletcher strove to make her mark on the field. Her first professional position was instructor at Modesto Junior College, followed by staff nurse at Scenic General Hospital and professor and chair of the Department of Physical Education and Health at California State University. Thanks to Dr. Fletcher’s efforts, the name of the department was later changed to be the Department of Kinesiology to match other universities. Although

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PEGGY W. JOHNSEN

Growing up, Peggy W. Johnsen longed to become a teacher. She discovered home economics in college, and decided to combine her interests into one career. Her first professional position was instructor at the graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, followed by teacher at various secondary schools in Bigelow and Lake Village, Arkansas. Dr. Johnsen then became an educational coordinator at the Arkansas Department of Education, an industry training coordinator at the Arkansas Power & Light Co., the director of tech prep at Cuesta College, and an associate community education faculty member at Allen Hancock College, as well as a member of the operations planning division at Lockheed Missile & Space at the Vandenberg Air Force Base. She retired in

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KATHERINE GYÉKENYÉSI GATTO

Born in Austria, Katherine Gyékenyési Gatto was inspired to pursue both language and education by her father, the headmaster of a school in Hungary. Even though he lost the position when he was forced to move to the U.S. in 1951 to escape the war, he never lost his faith in the academic system. He ensured all of his children were able to go to college, and offered Dr. Gatto sage advice when it came time for her to pick a major. This resulted in her switching from German to Spanish. She ended up obtaining a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from John Carroll University in 1967, as well as a Master of Arts and a PhD from Case

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MARION THORPE MARK

Inspired by her aunt, Marion Thorpe Mark was determined to become a teacher. She started her journey at Boston College, where she became a diagnostician and teacher of the Donald D. Durrell Reading and Writing Clinic in 1951 and earned a Bachelor of Education in 1952. Upon obtaining a Master of Education from the institution in 1953, she advanced to become a teacher and director of remedial reading educational testing and diagnosis at Natick Public Schools and private tutor and home teacher in California. Dr. Mark then garnered experience in roles like reading instructor at McKinley Continuation High School, chair of the English Department at Ravenswood High School, honors English teacher in the San Mateo School District, reading specialist in

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MARIA ELVIRA SUMPTER

Attracted to the idea of imparting knowledge, Maria Elvira Sumpter felt education was the perfect career for her. She worked hard to achieve her goal, first earning a Bachelor of Arts from Texas Woman’s University and then earning a Master of Arts from Texas A&M University. She also completed postgraduate coursework at Sul Ross State University and obtained certifications in history, Spanish, and principalship. These degrees propelled Ms. Sumpter to her first professional position as a high school teacher. She stayed in that role for 14 years before making the switch to administration. Her subsequent positions include secondary curriculum coordinator at Eagle Pass Independent School District, assistant principal, and principal. Ms. Sumpter also developed the Summer School Now! Program and

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DIANA SCOTT BEATTIE

Interested in biochemistry since college, Diana Beattie dedicated her career to advancing the field. She started her journey by earning a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College in 1956, followed by a Master of Science and a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 1958 and 1961, respectively. Dr. Beattie remained with her graduate alma mater after graduation, serving as a research associate from 1961 to 1967. She subsequently accepted positions such as research associate in the VA Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, faculty and biochemistry professor at the Mount School of Medicine (now the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai), and professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry at the West Virginia University School of Medicine. Her last

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KATHLEEN OVERIN SLOBIN

A genuine seeker of knowledge, Kathleen Overin Slobin has incorporated a wide variety of interests into her career. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Pomona College during the turbulent 1960s, she felt called to become a painter. Her mother was a practicing artist. As she grew older, however, her focus shifted to sociology and public administration.  Today, Dr. Slobin holds numerous degrees across those fields. She is presently leading a seminar for family caregivers at California Pacific Medical Center. Additionally, she has been a storyteller at the Asian Art Museum since 2010, a docent at the California Academy of Sciences since 2009, and a professor emeritus at North Dakota State University since 2007. Dr. Slobin has

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BRENDA GAIL JONES

Confident and knowledgeable, Brenda Gail Jones felt that pursuing education was a natural choice. She grew up with a strong support system that placed an emphasis on learning and development, which led her to join the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. This organization was transformative for Ms. Jones; it gave her the experience of leadership, organization, working with others, and being a role model. Ms. Jones carried what she learned with her as she pursued her dreams at San Francisco State University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the school in 1972 and became a teacher at the Lakeport Unified School District the next year. Ms. Jones loved working with children, but after only nine years in

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JOY K. KING

A Latin teacher for more than three decades, Joy K. King’s fascination with the language began in high school. Her mother signed her up for a college preparation program that required four years of Latin, and Dr. King ended up loving it. She even participated in a statewide Latin contest through which the top two senior students were awarded scholarships to colleges in Illinois. Dr. King ranked in the top two her sophomore and junior years of high school, but World War II halted the contest her senior year. She managed to persuade the donors to grant her a scholarship to Knox College anyway, and after adding three years of Greek to her repertoire, her good marks ensured it was

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LOIS A. HEIGHT ALLEN

From the time she was young, Lois A. Height Allen dreamed of using her passion for music and education to make a difference. She was raised in a family that stressed the importance of helping others, and she was determined to follow in their footsteps. To help her achieve her goals, Ms. Allen earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts from Ohio State University in 1954 and 1958, respectively. She then joined prominent organizations like the American Guild of Organists, the Choristers Guild of America, and the Federation of American Baptist Musicians to help her keep on top of developments in the field. Over the years, Ms. Allen garnered a reputation for excellence amongst her peers. She

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