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10/26/2016

Thoburn [Dorr], Isabella [Bitty]

The summer following graduation from Allegheny I jumped right into my first job and first marriage. That first job at a therapeutic nursery school and kindergarten was like three years of graduate school. Hanna Perkins School was based on the work of Anna Freud who believed that the best therapeutic work done with young children who were struggling with developmental issues was via their parent(s). All of the parent(s) were in weekly parent guidance with a therapist. As a classroom teacher I carried a caseload of up to five children and wrote weekly reports which were shared at conferences held each week with the appropriate therapist. Two to three times a year each child was presented by the therapist and teacher at a conference held with all of the therapists and teachers in order to receive feedback and suggestions for future work with the parent(s) and child. For someone who wasn’t particularly excited about writing I couldn’t have been more grateful for my Allegheny writing experiences which help me meet the demands of this first job.

In 1974 I found myself widowed with a young son. Fortunately, my work at Hanna Perkins helped me not only deal with my son and our loss but it also provided me some part time work in the area of teacher training. When Scott headed off to first grade I started my work at Hathaway Brown School, an Early Childhood (Co-Ed) through 12th grade private girl’s school. I spent 32 years there beginning with teaching kindergarten and preschool to Director of the Primary School and Directory of Primary School Admissions to Assistant Head of School, to Director of the Center for Global Citizenship. It was a wonderful place for me to grow and develop not only as an educator but as a person. I had the opportunity to watch students mature from little three year olds to mature high school seniors. My last three years at HB as the Director of the Center for Global Citizenship afforded me the opportunity to travel and make relationships with educators from China, South Korea, India, South Africa, Brazil, Germany, and Ireland. Planning and hosting symposiums on global issues was exciting, especially when students from abroad shared with me how they had taken what they learned and applied it to their own country.

During my tenure at HB I remarried and had a daughter just when my son was heading off to college. Elizabeth was able to attend HB and then followed in her brother’s footsteps at Williams College. She has now completed her Masters in Higher Education at Harvard and is working in Boston. Following law school at Harvard, Scott went on to become a litigator and a share partner at Kirkland Ellis in Chicago. He is married and has three children.

I now find myself widowed again and actively involved in several volunteer outreach endeavors. Not surprisingly, most involve children. I sit on the Board of Directors of Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio. This agency serves young people from the inner city who have the potential to not only complete high school but to go on and complete college but for whatever the reason don’t have the support system to do this. It involves both scholars in residential care as well as community based scholars. I head up their Program Committee and am actively involved with all of their program offerings. For the past four years I have been a mentor family to one of the residential scholars. That means I have a fun time on weekends and school vacations when she lives with me. Once a month I work with a group making 125 lunches for the homeless. I also work once a month at a Mobile Food Pantry in a school in the inner city of Cleveland. As an outgrowth of that program I meet twice a month with a group of ladies from the Central Housing Project to do sewing. In addition these ladies have made 50 bow blankets to donate to the Cleveland Clinic for the transplant patients. Every Tuesday morning I tutor 2 first grade boys. What a treat!

I love having a bit more control over my time in retirement. I love to read, walk my dog, travel, (just returned from a trip to Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg), and linking up with friends from all parts of my life. (just met up with friends that I attended kindergarten through 12th grade and were part of my Brownie and Girl Scout Troop). I am looking forward to seeing many of you at our 50th Reunion. It should be a great walk down Memory Lane.

My contact Info

Address:  1567 South Belvoir Boulevard South Euclid, OH 44121-3702
Phone:  216-381-1370
Email:  

Maggie Christman Comeau and Sally Orr Swan. I am the one on the right.

Maggie Christman Comeau and Sally Orr Swan. I am the one on the right.

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