The 20th anniversary of the founding of Washington School for Girls was celebrated on April 10th. Below are students portraying the 3 “founding spirits,” whose values guide the mission and purpose of WSG: Sr. Claudine Thevenet, RJM, Mary McLeod Bethune and Sr. Cornelia Connelly, SHCJ.

Claudine Thévenet (1818), Founder of The Religious of Jesus and Mary: In the wake of the French revolution, first as a laywoman and later as a religious, Claudine devoted herself to those affected by the violence and chaos of those times, educating and training girls to help them reach economic autonomy and their dignity as Christian women.

“The greatest misfortune is to live and die without knowing God.”

Mary McLeod Bethune (1935), Founder of National Council of Negro Women: Dr. Bethune was an African-American educator and civil rights activist who founded Bethune-Cookman College. She was an advisor to every President from Coolidge to Roosevelt. One of her accomplishments was founding The National Council of Negro Women.

“Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve.”

Cornelia Connelly (1846), Founder of The Society of the Holy Child Jesus: Cornelia Connelly, a woman ahead of her time, promoted an approach to education based on trust and reverence for every human being. Her schools encourage children to develop to their full potential, based on her firm belief that all fields of study contribute to the development of that potential.

“Trust the children and never let your confidence in them be shaken. Confidence begets confidence.”

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