Betsy DeVos’ Mother’s Brief Stint as a Public School Teacher: Some Details
In her US Department of Education (USDOE) bio, US ed sec Betsy DeVos advertises that her mother was “a public school teacher”:
Secretary DeVos has been involved in education policy for nearly three decades as an advocate for children and a voice for parents. She is especially passionate about reforms that help underserved children gain access to a quality education.DeVos’ interest in education was sparked at an early age by her mother, a public school teacher.
I heard DeVos make a similar, *my mother taught public school* statement during her confirmation hearings. However, as is true in her USDOE bio, DeVos offered no additional details.
So, I went searching for some.
The December 15, 1953, Holland, Michigan, Evening Sentinel, a newspaper from DeVos’ home town, carries the following article:
School Board Approves Four New Teachers…Hiring of four new teachers for the public schools was approved by the Board of Education at its monthly meeting Monday night.…Miss Elsa Zwiep of Holland will teach early elementary classes starting next semester succeeding Mrs. Joyce Brieve who requested a release in order to join her husband on the west coast. Miss Zwiep is a graduate of Christian High School and will be graduated from Calvin College early in 1954 with an A.B. degree.
The details of Zwiep’s 1953-54 mid-year hire were again publicized in the January 20, 1954, Sentinel.
Zwiep’s degree from Calvin College was in sociology, not elementary education.
In August 1953, Zwiep became engaged to DeVos’ father, Edgar Prince. The couple Betsy DeVos’ Mother’s Brief Stint as a Public School Teacher: Some Details | deutsch29: