JEAN BEE CHAN, Ph.D.
Jean Bee Chan, Lucas Valley resident, is an outstanding educator and
mentor. As a professor of mathematics at Sonoma State University
since 1973, Dr. Chan has been instrumental in bringing a sense of
community and mutual support to the Mathematics Department which has
had an immeasurably beneficial effect on the morale of students and
Dr. Chan has championed a cause, believing
that a firm understanding of mathematics and science is critical to
success in our highly technical society. She is committed to
providing equal educational opportunities to all. To this end,
she established a family scholarship fund for Sonoma State students
entering the teaching profession, and founded the Asian Scholarship
Endowment Fund which helps send students of Asian descent to college.
Dr. Chan is passionately concerned about mathematics education for
girls, who tend to lag behind boys in math and science.
Beyond her own community, Dr. Chan is Chair
of the Northern California Section of the Mathematical Association
of America, involving over 100 mathematics departments in thousands
of mathematics faculty and students. She has provided leadership
for the Marin Chinese Cultural Group and was a founder of the Asian
American Alliance of Marin, which is dedicated to bringing justice
and equality to all citizens. As a result of her contributions
to the community, Dr. Chan was honored by the Marin County Marin Luther
King, Jr., Humanitarian Award in 1996.
Read the extended biography by Nancy Harris
M. SAMUEL CONLAN O.P.
Sister Samuel, a member of the Sisters of St. Dominic, is a dedicated
and exemplary educator. She received her Ph.D. in English Literature
from Stanford University and joined the faculty of Dominican college
in 1957, serving as President of the College from 1968-80. She continues
to teach English. Under her leadership, the college was transformed
from an all women's college into a co-educational institution.
She spearheaded the placement on campus of a model Development Center
for children with special needs and supported the development of a
Special Education Teacher Training Program which earned statewide
recognition for excellence. Seeing the need for the college
to be an integral part of the community, she expanded the Board of
Trustees to include members of the business and professional community.
Through her work in the field of education
for over 40 years, Sister Samuel has influenced the lives of scores
of students. She is teaching by example that you can address
the world with confidence, serve with courage, principle, elegance,
compassion and grace. In 1980, she received the Dominican College
Distinguished Service Award and in 1981, School Master of the Year.
Golden Gate University awarded her an honorary degree in 1980.
Read the extended biography by Kathleen Mullen
Janet Daijogo is the consummate teacher -- a role model of strength,
flexibility and compassion as she endeavors to fulfill her goal of
instilling in children a sense of importance, uniqueness and personal
power. A kindergarten teacher at Marin Country Day Elementary
School since 1984, she has had a positive impact on hundreds of children.
She has incorporated an Aikido/Energy Awareness Program into the kindergarten
program. She holds a second degree black belt and uses aikido
to build sensitivity and strength, and to teach children to be at
peace with themselves and centered. Prior to teaching kindergarten
she spent 18 years working at the Marin Child Development Center in
San Rafael, where she helped her students "mainstream" and
go on to college and productive lives.
Ms. Daijogo understands how emotional trauma
can affect a child. In 1942, she and her family were forced to leave
their California home and live for three years at a relocation camp
where Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II.
Ms. Daijogo received her B.A. degree from the University of California
at Berkeley. In 1990 she was honored by the California State
Department of Education with the California Educator Award for teaching
Through the Resource Directory of Marin Women,
she serves as a volunteer speaker to children about her wartime experiences.
A Mill Valley resident, she also designs art-to-wear clothing.
Read the extended biography by Nancy Harris
With understanding and enthusiasm for the democratic process, Virginia
Franklin infused several generations of high school students with
appreciation for civil liberties and our system of government.
Through her efforts, many Marin teens have participated in "mock
political conventions"; others have had the opportunity to experience
government in Sacramento or Washington, D.C.
Beginning teaching after her graduation from
U.C. Berkeley at age 19, she always strongly believed in an informed
student population, opposing book bans and other restrictions on instructing.
Even during a storm of protest in the 1960's when she was attacked
for encouraging critical thinking, she remained a fearless teacher
of all ideas. Mrs. Franklin successfully survived attacks on
her teaching by the John Birch Society, the American Legion, Congressional
hearings and nation-wide publicity in Life Magazine.
She went on to get a doctorate in education and developed a curriculum
for educators on how to teach civics and democracy. Named outstanding
teacher of the year in 1982 by the Marin Educational Foundation, she
encouraged students to write bills which were actually introduced
into Congress. Other honors have included Barbara Boxer's "Women
Making History", the Valley Forge Classroom medal, the constitutional
Rights Foundation Award and numerous others.
After "retirement', Mrs. Franklin served
as an active consultant and mentor for Marin's Human Rights Resource
Center, sharing her experience in education and commitment to democracy.
She passed away in 1991.
Read the extended biography by nancy Nakai
HORAN, Ed. D.
As Executive Director of the Beryl Buck Institute for Education, Carolyn
Horan is dedicated to working with schools to restructure education
to better meet student and family needs.
While working to support her two children,
Ms. Horan earned her B.S. and Masters degree from San Francisco State
University. During her education, she was involved in developing
the Regional Occupational Programs. particularly the Office Occupation
Program which offers free training for re-entry women.
Ms. Horan has a keen understanding of the
importance of change and growth for education. Some of the positions
she has held include Superintendent of the K-8 District in Fairfax,
Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services and Planning for
Marin County Office of Education, President of the Marin Chapter of
the Association of California School Administrators, President of
Marin Association of Superintendents, and Chair of the Youth Committee
for the San Rafael Rotary Club. She was in charge of the project
that resulted in the development of the 1,700 acre Walker Creek Environmental
Education Center in West Marin. Ms. Horan was a member of the
County-State Steering Committee under the California Department of
Education and the recipient of the Educator of the Year award in Marin
SISTER MARION IRVINE, O. P.
Sister Marion is committed to serving others by raising social consciousness, primarily through teaching, administration and example. In 1949, she began her vocation as a Roman Catholic nun and taught third-graders at St. Raphael Elementary School in San Rafael. For 50 years, Sister Marion held eleven different positions in education in Marin, Vallejo, Monterey, Stockton, San Francisco, Napa and Santa Rosa, including serving as Assistant Superintendent of Schools.
Shifting her focus from education to commitment and social activism, she holds the title of "Promoter of Peace, Justice and the Care of Creation" and works tirelessly with others to: ban capital punishment, protect the environment, provide affordable housing, improve education and to further other social justice issues.
In 2003, Sister Marion led the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael to take a stance against pre-emptive strikes in Iraq, and she continues
to work and pray for peace in all global conflicts. She is against the death penalty, and along with members of the community, has held a vigil at San Quentin at each execution. She has collaborated with others to address issues relating to human trafficking, worked to create safe houses or to provide additional support services, and protested during the ICE raids in 2007.
Sister Marion has served as Secretary, Vice-President and President with the Marin Interfaith Council to address not only the death penalty but also affordable housing issues and immigration injustices. At MIC, Sister Marion works with Protestant Christians, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Sufi and many other religious leaders, for the purpose of justice, equity, excellence, equal opportunity and respect for all.
She is also an athlete and began running at 48 years old. Her fellow Sisters have become her cheering squad. Sister Marion experienced her own human limitations while running which helped to deepen her compassion taking her to new heights in more than the running world, inspiring her to reach out beyond education to a role of social activism.
Sister Marion ran competitively for 15 years and was the oldest woman ever to qualify for the Olympic trials in long-distance running in 1983. This event earned her a sponsorship by Nike and a place in the Road Runners Club of the American Hall of Fame.
As Sister Marion approaches her 80th birthday, she continues to model leadership that is founded upon compassion, humor, perseverance and social justice. She has received the Marin County Human Rights Commission’s Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award and Dominican
University’s Athletic Hall of Fame recognition. Marin Women’s Hall of Fame joyfully welcomes her for her humanitarian efforts, leadership for social justice and dedication to education on so many levels.
30 years, Françoise Lepage, PhD, Professor and Dean Emerita
at Dominican University of California’s School of Business,
has pursued a vision: to enhance Marin’s global perspective.
What makes this woman unique is her singular ability to translate
her vision into concrete plans and partnerships.
the 1980s she secured a National Science Foundation grant to create
a program that would enhance the global perspective of Marin’s
K- 2 teachers. What’s unique is that Lepage’s NSF grant
was for a social studies program—unheard of from a foundation
focused on science and mathematics. NSF funded the program for four
years, and then hired Dr. Lepage as a consultant to promote social
science grant opportunities within NSF.
In the 1990s Dr. Lepage became the founding
director of Dominican’s Graduate Program in Pacific Basin
Studies. With faculty backing for the new MBA curriculum with an
innovative new focus, she secured a grant from the Compton Foundation
to establish the program. Lepage’s work has been the foundation
of Dominican University’s business program for 25 years.
In fall 2007, thanks to Dr. Lepage’s
vision, Dominican University will begin its Green MBA program. This
innovative curriculum, an offshoot of Pacific Basin Studies, is
an example of the way Francoise Lepage works: concept to vision
to implementation to reimplementation— accompanied by amazing
perseverance, tenacity, and long-term commitment.
Along with these formidable academic contributions,
Lepage enjoys getting a personal look at the world. Besides meeting
alumni in Taipei, Tokyo, Bangkok, and Shanghai, addresses to business
groups in Seoul, Sydney, Marrakech, and even San Rafael fill her
calendar. She’s also brought an astonishing group of world
figures to lecture on campus, among them the late U.S. ambassador
to the UN Jeanne Kirkpatrick, former secretary of defense Robert
McNamara, anthropologist Louise Leakey, oceanographer Sylvia Earle,
psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison, and string theorist Brian Green.
Dr. Lepage has received many awards for
her achievements, among them a Japan Foundation Fellowship, the
Distinguished Citizen Award from the Marin Cultural Center, the
Sarlo Distinguished Professor Award for Lifetime Achievement, and
the Pacific Basin Alumni Award.
Marymount University, Lepage’s alma
mater, has awarded this outstanding woman a Doctor of Human Letters
as a “distinguished alumna and educator.” Young women
searching for a role model with the vision, fortitude, and talent
to change the world need look no further than Marin’s own
DENISE M. LUCY, Ed.D.
Dr. Denise Lucy is one of
Marin’s progressive educators. She has consistently demonstrated academic
leadership and vision in the formation of degree programs and strategic
partnerships providing unique educational and community engagement in Marin
County. Her commitment to educational equity has been unwavering during her 30
years in higher education.
believes that education is the great equalizer in society. This philosophy has
inspired and guided her throughout her exemplary higher education career, as
well as in her community service.
Marin County has benefited from her commitment to help others,
positively impacting the lives of her students, employers, and our community,
through myriad educational programs.
held a variety of management positions, both at the University of San Francisco
and now at Dominican University of California. At Dominican she served as Vice President for Academic
Affairs, Dean of Liberal and Professional Studies and Director of Pathways.
Prior to Dominican, she served the University of San Francisco’s College of
Professional Studies as Associate Dean.
Denise is Professor of Business Leadership and a scholar in the areas of small
business enterprises in the global market place. She is an expert in leadership
and organizational change, and founding Executive Director of the Institute of
Leadership Studies, a leadership development center.
her direction, Dominican’s well-received Leadership Lecture Series, a
cooperative project with Marin’s own Book Passage, has welcomed luminaries
including former Vice President, Al Gore and Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright, finance guru, Suzie Orman and our fellow Marin Hall of Famer, Isabel
Allende, to name a few.
a community leader and member on local boards, including serving as Chair of
Marin Education Fund, now named 10,000 Degrees, she has positively impacted the
lives of others. Marin employers benefited from various business outreach
programs, and the general Marin community through her myriad efforts at
partnership formation and bridge-building. Her partnership with the Marin Women’s Commission helped form the Women’s
Leadership Summits advocating for the rights and needs of women and girls.
The University of San Francisco
has awarded Denise the Edward Griffin Award for Outstanding Service in
Education and well as its Merit Award. Dominican University of California has
recognized her many contributions by presenting her with the Presidential
Medallion and the Sr. Aquinas Nimitz Distinguished Service Award. Denise was
also a recipient of the Magnificent Woman of Marin Award 2007. She earned a B.S. from Michigan State
University, an M.S. from California State University, Fresno, and an Ed.D. in
Organizations and Leadership from the University of San Francisco.
Denise and her spouse, 2007
Marin Women’s Hall of Fame honoree, Dr. Françoise Lepage, live in San Rafael
and collaborate on research, global travel, and golf.
Lois Merriweather Moore, a wife, mother, grandmother, and Novato
resident, has been an educator for 35 years. She empowers her students
to envision their own excellence, and gives them the tools to achieve
taught Spanish, English, and English as a Second Language in Marin’s
middle and high schools. While famous for setting the performance
bar high, Lois set even higher standards for herself. She knew that
if she didn’t excel, she couldn’t expect her students
to excel. She is a superior role model for students. In addition
to speaking appearances and presenting research at international
conferences, her professional training included the Women &
Power Executive Education Program at Harvard University and the
Institute for Social and International Studies in Barcelona, Spain.
an Adjunct Professor in the International & Multicultural Education
Department of the University of San Francisco, Dr. Moore teaches
other teachers and administrators. She assists doctoral scholars
in gathering, organizing, and presenting research at international
conferences such as the Hawaii International Conference on Education
in Honolulu and the International Association for Intercultural
Education Conference in Verona, Italy. Presenting at prestigious
conferences gives junior scholars needed exposure that significantly
enhances job marketability, and Lois shows them how it’s done.
also helps doctoral scholars navigate the arduous road to professional
publication – a critical step on the path to tenure. In her
second publication, The Dispersion of Africans and African Culture
Throughout the World: Essays on the African Diaspora, Moore edited
and published the research of several doctoral scholars that she
taught. By having a publication on record before they graduated,
Moore’s students had an edge in the job market. Dr. Moore’s
collaboration in this work was a milestone in the history of USF’s
School of Education.
Moore teaches more than what’s in the textbook. She’s
a living example that education is a lifetime project. She teaches
students how to live by exhibiting character, self-respect, perseverance,
and integrity. She empowers students by challenging them to perform
at levels they thought impossible.
Moore’s commitment to community and educational excellence
has been widely recognized. She has received the Martin Luther King
Humanitarian Award, the Novato Citizen of the Year Award, the Bay
Area Blacks in Philanthropy Leadership & Achievement Award,
the Carl. A. Grant Multicultural Research Award, and the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation Gates Millennium Scholarship Award. We
welcome her to the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame.
Ruth Sluser's 35-year teaching career has encompassed serving "at
risk" and special education students and administering programs
for teenage mothers. Devoting herself to helping those with
special needs help themselves, she has made a practical difference
in the lives of many young women. She has provided the vision
to see a high-risk person as a successful graduate and member of the
work force. She has inspired her charges to find appropriate
career paths and remain goal-oriented, despite the many obstacles
Through the Cal Learn program, Sluser provides
guidance to teenage mothers and pregnant teens who are attempting
to complete their high school education and enroll in vocational programs
designed for economic independence. She mentors at least a dozen
girls at any given time, seeing each one at least weekly. She
arranges parenting classes, nutrition workshops, counseling sessions
and transportation. She celebrates their success and teaches
them how to solve adult problems with patience. She is remembered
by one of her students as "the first adult who really listened
to me and helped me feel I was worth something." Many of
the young women she has helped stay in touch and seek her counsel,
wisdom and wit. She attributes her success to her mother who
returned to work to provide the financial support for Sluser
to complete both B.S. and M.S. degrees at the University of Illinois.
Retired from teaching, she continues to administer the Cal Learn program
and serve the needs of young women, offering tough love, guidance
Read the extended biography by Wendy Norwood
Elizabeth Terwilliger, known to generations
of Marin residents as "Mrs. T.", has devoted over forty
years of her life to environment teaching. She began the work
as a young mother when she took her own children on nature walks.
During these times, she shared her high regard for all living creatures
and extensive knowledge about the eco-system of Marin. Through
her animal collection, her famous walks and countless visits to Marin
and Bay Area schools, she has communicated her love of nature in a
creative and memorable way.
Mrs. T., an active member of the Marin Conservation
League, worked toward the creation of Monarch butterfly preserves
and the purchase of land for open space and parks. The establishment
of the natural preserve on Goat Hill, located on the Tiburon peninsula,
was a direct result of Mrs. T's efforts. She helped to co-found
the Marin County chapter of the Audubon Society. Mrs. T. also
helped to establish many of the bike paths throughout the county,
setting an example for other communities in the nation and enabling
cyclists to enjoy the beauty of Marin. She is the recipient
of numerous local and national awards, including the President's Volunteer
Action Award, given to her by President Ronald Reagan at the White
House in 1984.
Read Elizabeth Terwilliger's extended biography
SHIRLEY A. THORNTON
A strong advocate of equality and excellence in education for all
children, Dr. Shirley Thornton served as Deputy Superintendent of
the Specialized Programs Branch of the California Department of Education
from 1986 through 1995. She also served as Vice-Chair of the
Board of Trustees of the Marin Community foundation. She was
named to the board by the Foundation's first sic trustees in 1986,
and was re-appointed to a second term. She is a retired Colonel
in the United States Army Reserves with her last assignment as a member
of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
As Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Thornton was
a strong voice and prime "mover and shaker" to improve programs
statewide in career vocational educational special education and adult
education, state special schools, alternative education and programs
for "at-risk" youth.
Dr. Thornton's contribution to education
is most visible in the bold and innovative program she instituted
ten years ago --- the California Local Educational Reform Network,
C-LERN. With technical assistance, resources and training provided
by Dr. Thornton's division, C-LERN schools, including the San Rafael
City Schools, learned to transform their organization to meet the
needs of students more effectively by providing equal opportunity
for all students regardless of ethnicity, race, linguistic, social
or economic differences.
Read the extended biography by Sheri Rice
Victoria has been a strong and consistent voice for women of color
and other disenfranchised people in pursuit of quality education.
She is passionate about promoting education and opportunities for
As a 20-year old immigrant, not content with
the status quo of deplorable conditions for minorities, she committed
herself to becoming educated and to empowering others to continue
similar work. She has had a prestigious career in college administration,
activism, fundraising, program organization and humanism. Her
self-fulfillment comes from helping to improve the quality of life
and developing a cultural identity for Latinos in the Bay area.
The means by which she achieves objectives are numerous, varied and
She was one of the two founders and Directors
of the educational component of the Latino Film Festival of Marin;
she has initiated numerous programs at the college that address needs
of minorities, as will as founding the Latino Educational Council
and Hispanic Cultural Center. While much of her activism is
focused around her profession, she understands the experiences that
Latinos, African-Americans and other minorities have in working to
carve out a life in Marin County. She accepts people as they
are and also knows what a difference a friendly hand can make.
She does her work quietly and asks nothing in return.
Victoria provides a legacy of success by courage,
determination, perseverance and pizzazz.
Read the extended biography by Barbara J. Euser