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In 1952 Winifred Guthrie Anderson was named the first winner of the North End Mothers’ Club Senior Girl’s Honor Award, and she went on to leave an indelible imprint on the fields of early childhood development and special education, especially with regard to inclusion of young children with disabilities with their more typically developing peers.
Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Guthrie Anderson directed in 1970 one of the first preschools in the nation to integrate into the classrooms children with physical, mental and emotional challenges. She went on to found the Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center and serve as its executive director. PEATC was one of the first parent centers dedicated to fostering collaboration of parents, school officials and teachers in implementing the Education for All Handicapped Children’s Act of 1978.
Sixty-two years later, Ms. Guthrie Anderson and her husband James – also an ETHS alum – are paying it forward. Together, they say, they decided to make a commitment to assist today’s Wildkits make transitions to rewarding careers. To that end, they have established the Winifred Anderson Guthrie Foundation in honor of Win’s 80th birthday this year. The Foundation will support two important endeavors at ETHS and help put students on the path to success.
First, the foundation will help ETHS transform an outdated machine shop into an advanced manufacturing lab, replicating current industry standards of high-tech manufacturing facilities. Industry partners are working with ETHS faculty to create a space that invites hands-on design and production with advanced equipment and technology. Students of all abilities will study computerized manufacturing technology and earn widely recognized certifications to qualify for good jobs and/or pursue degreed engineering programs after high school.
Second, the foundation will annually the Winifred Guthrie Anderson Award, honoring a graduating senior who intends to pursue a career in education. The student should have exhibited interest and achievement in child development classes and demonstrated competence and caring in an early childhood classroom setting.
Imani Bournes, winner of the first Winifred Guthrie Anderson Award, was named in May at the ETHS Awards Night.