Educator of the Week: Emma Willard

Emma Willard was a pioneer in women’s education. Born on February 23, 1787, Willard was the sixteenth child out of seventeen children. From a young age, Willard gained an education rather quickly, teaching in 1804 after enrolling in school in 1802. After seeing how her husband’s nephew received more educational opportunities compared to women, she vowed to make a difference.

In 1814, Willard opened the Middlebury Female Seminary in her home and taught women there over the next few years. Later in 1819, Willard opened an offical girls’ school called Troy Female Seminary, the first school for young women in the US.