Principal at Barclay, Part Two: “To Learn as Fast as They Can and as Slow as They Must”

  • Gertrude S. Williams
  • Jo Ann Ooiman Robinson
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Oral History book series (PSOH)


For the first 15 years that Gertrude presided over Barclay School (1971–1986), William Donald Schaefer presided over Baltimore (1971–1986). In a 1983 portrait of the mayor, The Baltimore Evening Sun described his “ferocious, stubborn hold on all levels and details of the city government… his demanding standards, his fostering of new ideas, his unrelenting dedication to the city, his fierce criticism and his massive temper.”1 In only slightly qualified form, that same description might be applied to the Barclay principal.


Elementary School Middle School School System School Board Fetal Alcohol Syndrome 
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  1. 2.
    William Donald Schaefer’s biographer recorded a ten-item list of “Schaefer’s Rules.” Item number ten pegs Gertrude’s use of temper to a tee: “Act out: Most people will back down in the face of outrageous behavior. Don’t worry when they accuse you of throwing tantrums. When you’re right, you’re right. And you’re always right.” C. Fraser Smith, William Donald Schaefer (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999) 395.Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    Szanton, Baltimore 2000, A Choice of Futures (Baltimore: Morris Goldsecker Foundation, 1986) 12.Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    Jill Jonnes, “Everybody Must Get Stoned: The Origins of Modern Drug Culture in Baltimore,” Maryland Historical Magazine 91.2 (Summer 1996) 133–155. Ibid. Quotations: “lifestyle” 136; “highly troubled” 143; “It soon reached” 143–144; “when these people,” 143.Google Scholar
  4. 24.
    [For a historical examination of this legislation, see Julie Roy Jeffrey, Education for Children of the Poor: A Study of the Origins and Implementation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1979).]Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Gertrude S. Williams and Jo Ann Ooiman Robinson 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gertrude S. Williams
  • Jo Ann Ooiman Robinson

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