Harvard Graduate School of Education Logo

Give back to HGSE and support the next generation of passionate educators and innovative leaders.

Fall 2010

What They Keep

sherman_lighthouses.jpgIt started with a poster. Just before senior lecturer and former Richmond, Va., superintendent Deborah Jewell-Sherman, Ed.M.'92, Ed.D.'95, applied to the Ed School to start her doctorate in the Urban Superintendents Program, she was reading a magazine for principals and saw a poster with a young child standing on a shore looking across the water into the distance. The caption read: If all children had a safe harbor, then none would be at risk.

She bought a copy and hung it in her office. From there, the lighthouse metaphor was born.

"I used the metaphor throughout my HGSE studies and during my superintendency," she says, "to signify that all who lead the learning must serve as beacons to insure -- by our collective wisdom, compassion, and action -- that all students under our watch are afforded a safe harbor from which to learn, develop, and ultimately sail off to a bright and fulfilling future."

In time, people started giving Jewell-Sherman lighthouse statues, which she displayed at home, in her office in Richmond, and now in her Harvard office. "They come in many forms and are gifts from teachers, administrators, students, parents, and friends." she says. "Each one serves to remind me of the life-changing impact of the work we are called to do as educators."

What They Keep looks at something found in a faculty member's office and the story behind it.