Dr. Peggy O'Brien

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I’m the Folger Shakespeare Library’s director of education, so I have the privilege of (a) working with the small but mighty band of smart, dedicated, versatile and hilarious people that is Folger Ed, (b) working with folks all across this Library who are full of respect and devotion for schoolteachers, and . . . (c!) the privilege of working with teachers from everywhere. I’m the luckiest person on earth. I’m a DC public high school English teacher who, about 35 years ago, took on what I thought would be a short-term job at the Folger. I turned out to be the right teacher in the right place at the right time: I began the Folger’s education work and ran it for 13 years, thought I was out of ideas here, and took a deep dive into the ed tech universe-- at a, the cable industry’s education foundation, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Left CPB to serve as DC Public Schools’ Chief of Family and Public Engagement under Michelle Rhee and Kaya Henderson. Got jazzed about returning to the Folger after meeting the then-new Library director, Michael Witmore, a man with a big brain, a big heart, such a fine vision for this institution, and a deep belief in the importance of K-12 education. So I’m the right teacher in the right place at the right time again. Woo hoo! We’re inventing and reinventing Folger Ed at a pretty decent pace so that we can keep up with what teachers (and students) need . . . and this online community is only one example. Other info: my undergraduate Shakespeare prof never really knew my name because I cut class so much, I love Hamilton for about a million reasons, and my two grown-up kids still seem to like me. PS. Please don't correct for grammar.