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TC Welcomes New Trustee: Alice Elgart

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TC Welcomes New Trustee: Alice Elgart

TC Trustee Alice Elgart

It's all about giving back for new Teachers College Trustee Alice Elgart, who was elected to join the Board of Trustees in December 2001.

Elgart, whose field is teaching with an emphasis on learning disabilities, earned two degrees at Teachers College-an M.A. in Art Education and an Ed.M. in Reading and Learning Disabilities.

She followed in the footsteps of her grandmother, Evelyn Lubin, who also graduated from Teachers College and studied in special education. Lubin taught for a year at the Horace Mann School, TC's laboratory high school that was based on John Dewey's ideas about education, until her marriage in 1926.

Like her grandmother, Elgart also worked in education. After graduating from Syracuse University with a fine arts degree, Elgart started working for the Education Department at the Whitney Museum teaching classes in art education. Then she decided to pursue classes in art education at Teachers College.

Soon after she started her program, she took an introduction to special education with Margaret Jo Shepherd, Professor of Education Emerita, who taught at TC for 30 years. It was this course that fueled her interest in studying disabilities.

In 1998, Elgart helped to establish the Shepherd/Fleischner Scholarship to offset extra expenses involved for students who want to be dually certified in special education and education in general.

However, it was in her childhood that she was first exposed to learning disabilities. When her older brother struggled in school, her mother became devoted to finding out what was wrong and what was causing his problems.

"All families are touched by some kind of reading disability," said Elgart, who taught in public and private schools until the birth of her second child. "Everyone has his or her own set of learning issues."

She plans on returning to teaching in a few years when her third child is a little older. She and her husband, David, have three children-ages 5, 7, and 11. Elgart is also a Trustee at the Allen-Stevenson School and chairs the development committee there.

"It's an interesting time to be involved in education, the field is wide open and there are intelligent people on all sides of the debate," said Elgart. "The best thing is that people are interested and realizing that education is really vital to the future of this country."

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