Teacher, professor, life-long advocate for kids & public education
Shelly Beaser is an unsung hero who has dedicated her life to education, the welfare of kids, immigrants, and the disenfranchised. She has been a teacher in the trenches in a myriad of roles in public education in diverse parts of PA, from rural schools to at-risk kids in Harrisburg, urban Philadelphia public schools, an Orthodox Jewish high school for girls and teacher of IndoChinese teenagers. She is a sought after and much loved professor also at the university level, a teacher of new and student teachers, preparing the next generation of leaders in education. Shelly has also been an ESL instructor to refugees and an advocate for housing rights, directing a federally funded study of housing discrimination. She has served as a leader on boards, for the Institute for Leadership Education, Advancement and Development from 1998 to 2003 and for KIPP Charter Schools for the past 6 years.
Shelly’s reach goes beyond education with her several roles in the legal community, including a citizen representative on the Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention of the Philadelphia Bar Association to help us discern the quality of judicial candidates. As a lecturer and author of materials for the Bar’s ACE (Advancing Civic Education) project she helped promote the understanding of the rights, responsibilities and privileges of American citizenship, a priority of Judge Midge Rendell and many leaders in our legal community. Shelly has also served the arts, as Educational Director of the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, from 1999 to 2003. As a volunteer, she also worked with Nationalities Service Center as a tutor for Vietnamese immigrants in the 70s and 80s, on the National Governor’s Conference in the 70s as Coordinator of youth activities and on the Governor’s Action Center as telephone counselor for statewide hot line.
In retirement, Shelly continues to be a vibrant voice for progressive causes and a friend to the legal and nonprofit communities with passion, conviction and humor. She is a delight and a model for aging well and for never agreeing to tone down one’s opinions when it comes to education, justice and equality.