Wednesday, October 01, 2014

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The Emma Willard School turns 200

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Albany/HV: The Emma Willard School turns 200
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YNN's Vince Gallagher had the opportunity to talk with author Trudy Hamner about her book Wrought With Steadfast Will. The book is about the Emma Willard School, a boarding school for girls in Troy.

"She always said the school started in Middlebury in 1814," said Trudy Hamner, author and historian, speaking about Emma Willard, founder of the Emma Willard School, a boarding school for girls in Troy. The school is now turning 200 years old. Trudy Hamner’s book Wrought With Steadfast Will celebrates the school's extensive history.

"We at Emma Willard are very lucky because we have a very extensive archive. And, we have a wonderful archivist who aided me in this whole project," said Hamner.

And that project goes back to 1814, when the school first opened as the Middlebury Female Seminary in Vermont. Even in the beginning, the school was known to be on the cutting edge of girls’ curriculum.

"We have done that over and over again periodically through the years, so that even in the 20th century our curriculum is well known for being a trend setter," said Hamner.

Then in 1821 Emma Willard relocated to Troy, where the school officially became the first in the country to provide the same educational opportunities for girls that were given to boys.

"The all girls’ school was not revolutionary. What was revolutionary was treating girls seriously, especially from an academic point of view," said Hamner.

Student Zoe Fowler said, "You really learn a lot being here, not only about general education for a high schooler; but; you learn about so much culture and so much history of the local area and the nation in general."

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