Discover the captivating biography of Pearl C. Schaffer, an extraordinary educator deeply committed to teaching, aligned with the mission of the School of Education. Explore her profound involvement and unwavering love for the field, as she leaves an indelible mark through her remarkable journey.
PEARL CELESTA SCHAFFER was born February 9, 1900 in Easton, Pennsylvania. Her parents were Oliver and Amanda Schaffer, and she had an older brother Burton, and an older half sister May. While attending Easton High School, Pearl joined the Debating Team and took a class in Rhetoric, which is the art of effective or persuasive speaking and writing. While in high school, Pearl was able to earn money as an “elocutionist,” entertaining social gatherings in the pre-radio era by reciting long poems and stories, complete with gestures. She was still able to recite many of these in her later years, including “Hiawatha” (1855) and “The Octoroon” (1913).
Pearl graduated from high school in 1917 and then attended Pennsylvania State Normal School in West Chester, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, approximately 80 miles south of Easton. To get there, Pearl needed to take several forms of transportation, including a trolley, a train, and a bus, since she did not have a car or driver’s license.
West Chester was a two-year college and part of the Pennsylvania state system (called Normal Schools) for training elementary school teachers. Only high school teachers were required to obtain a four year liberal arts degree. The state granted Pearl’s diploma on November 16, 1921 after she completed two full annual terms of the Profession of Teaching. This diploma, along with a Normal Teachers’ Certificate also granted by the state and dated June 18, 1919, lists 40 subjects that she was “proficient and qualified to teach, ranging from Agriculture to Zoology and including Manual Training, Physics, Nature Study, and Rhetoric.” While a student at West Chester, Pearl also tutored French to American soldiers, called Doughboys, who were leaving for France to fight in World War I.
Upon graduation, Pearl returned to Easton and taught in the elementary school system there. She married Dr. Arthur Wismer in 1922 and they had one son David born in 1938. During those intervening years, Pearl taught full-time in the Phillipsburg, New Jersey elementary school system, which was just across the Delaware River from Easton.
After David started school, Pearl began substitute teaching in the five elementary schools in Phillipsburg and continued until she retired at age 65. Since Pearl never did get a driver’s license, she always walked to school.
Arthur died in 1986, and Pearl moved to Thousand Oaks, California to be near David’s family. She died in 2003 at the age of 103 and is buried in the Easton cemetery, across the street from her childhood home. During her lifetime, she witnessed a transition from the horse and buggy era to the high tech world of the 21st century. Yet she was always a reader and servant who preferred her books and volunteer activities at church and a local hospital.
The Pearl C. Schaffer School of Education is dedicated to honor this remarkable woman and teacher.
If you walk as a friend, you will find a friend wherever you choose to fare. If you go with mirth, to a strange far land, you will find that mirth is there. For the strangest part of this queer world is that like will join with like; And who walks with love for his fellow man, an answering love will strike.
If you walk in honor, then honest men will meet you along the way. But if you be false, you will find men false, wherever you chance to stray. For good breeds good and bad breeds bad. We are met by the traits we show; But love will find a friend at the stranger’s door where hate will find a foe.
For each of us builds the world he knows which only himself can spoil; And an hour of fate or an hour of shame, can ruin a life of toil. But though to the utmost end of the earth, your duty may bid you fare; If you go with truth and a friendly heart, you will find friends waiting there.
The School of Education equips and empowers effective educators, developing Christ-like professionals called to ensure life-changing learning for all students. It also provides a flexible path for students with credits from prior college coursework.
Nine of the graduating School of Education classes between 2013 and 2021 are featured in this photo. This photo is a testament to the hard work and dedication of each of these classes, as well as an example of the success that all past and future graduates can strive for. It is a reminder that although our paths may lead in different directions, our collective excellence will always remain.
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|