The Key Women Educators of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International recently spent an evening with Poet Laureate for the District of Columbia Delores Kendrick at Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ in Northwest Washington.

Kendrick, a native Washingtonian, taught at Taft Junior High School and helped design the curriculum for School Without Walls where she also taught. In 1972, she left the D.C. area for a teaching job offer at Phillips Exeter Academy, one of the nation’s most exclusive and oldest prep schools. Founded in 1781, it is located in Exeter, N.H.

Kendrick was one of the first women invited to teach in the Academy. While there, she received many prestigious awards and literary acclaim for her teaching and poetry.

Following dinner, Marion E. Hines, Delta Chapter president, interviewed Kendrick in a conversation that included questions related to her teaching experiences and her lifetime journey with poetry.

Kendrick read poems from her writings including several from her award winning book, {Women of Plums} which was based on narratives from slave women. Her poems can be found printed on the wall in front of the Martin Luther King Public Library, on the walls of several Metro Stations, and in various prominent sites around Washington, D.C.

Several educators in the audience who were students at Taft when Kendrick was a teacher there included Beverly Wallace, Betty Morris and Ellen Sistare.

Also in attendance was Luvenia A. George, current president of the D.C. chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International and who taught music at Taft JHS during the time that Kendrick was an English teacher there.

Emily J. Crandall, retired principal from School without Walls, also joined in the salute to Kendrick’s extraordinary career.

The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International is a professional honor society of women educators in 18 countries. A chapter was recently added in Japan.

Visit the following sites for additional information: and


Ellen C. Sistare

Special to the AFRO