Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander:
Role Model for Future Generations of Students
a tribute to a woman whose lists of personal and professional
achievements are unparalleled, the Penn-Assisted School is now
officially The Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania
Partnership School. The School Reform Commission passed a resolution
in August approving the name.
neighborhood PreK-8 university-assisted public school was created
through the collaboration of Penn, the School District and the
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and serves a diverse catchment
area with families from nearly 20 countries.
Alexander was a pioneer for African-American women, blazing educational
and professional trails, and a role model for anyone striving
to end prejudice and discrimination.
am very pleased that the School Reform Commission agreed with
our recommendation to have our school named after a woman of great
recognition," said Sheila A. Sydnor, the school principal.
"Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander exemplified true leadership,
perseverance and dedication to our city and our country. Our students
will know and emulate the values of this great lawyer, educator
and pioneer as they pursue their education. Mrs. Alexander will
serve as the role model for all who will cross our threshold."
in 1898 into a family whose members had fought discrimination
and segregation in Canada, Wales and the U.S., Dr. Alexander was
the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate in economics,
not only at Penn, but also in the nation. She was also the first
African-American woman to enroll in law school at Penn and earn
a law degree, the first African-American woman to pass the bar
and to practice law in Pennsylvania.
had to be better than the very best," said Jerry Jordan,
vice president of the PFT. "She had a lot of obstacles to
overcome. She's going to be a great role model for the children
who attend the school."
Harry S. Truman appointed Dr. Alexander to the President's Committee
on Civil Rights, whose report, To Secure These Rights,
served as the foundation of the civil rights movement in America
and was the basis for future civil rights policy decisions and
legislation. President Jimmy Carter appointed her chairperson
of the White House Conference on Aging, charged with addressing
a range of social and economic needs of the elderly.
is no more fitting tribute to my mother than to name this newly
created and state-of-the-art public school in her honor,"
said Rae Alexander-Minter, Ed.D., speaking for the family. "Sadie
Alexander's life and work and her love of education will serve
as a model of excellence and high achievement for all the students
who attend and graduate from the Alexander School. May education
and learning be central to their lives and work and move them
forward to lives of personal and academic fulfillment," she
school opens this fall for grades PreK-2 and 5-6 in a newly constructed
83,000 square feet, $19 million building that can accommodate
up to 650 students in 28 classrooms. Clustered in modules, the
classrooms overlook a central multi-story atrium that will also
serve as a gathering place for students and community. Other features
include a gymnasium/auditorium, instructional media center, science
labs, music rooms, art room and full-service cafeteria.
is a fantastic facility for the children of West Philadelphia
and a great place for them to learn and grow," said Dr. Susan
Fuhrman, dean of GSE. "We're very proud of the partnership
that made this school a reality and thrilled, of course, that
it's been named for Sadie Alexander."
grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for this
a timeline of Sadie Alexander's life