by Carole Losee © 2005-2020

meeting--no matter that thousands would follow and most of them I would chair; this was my first and the one that I would remember and savor for a lifetime.

The entire faculty, about twenty in all, was seated in a large egalitarian semi-circle, a configuration that I would later learn to associate with all progressive school gatherings. And facing us, was Elizabeth Seeger, my first boss and the Chairperson of the High School. Her print dress with a flowing skirt was topped by a huge Adlai Stevenson campaign button. We had just met; she had smilingly pointed me to a chair and then called the group to order. She introduced me and a couple of other new teachers and then we--no, they--proceeded to talk about the "contour of the day." (I later learned that that was the daily schedule.)

That day began a forty three-year gallop that was filled with challenge and laughter and joy and, most of all, buoyant hope in all its forms. In those first days I listened and learned as much as I could, as fast as I could, and was blessed with the kindest and most encouraging boss any novice teacher ever had. From that first day in the Dalton lunch room/library, I was treated as an intelligent, committed professional. (As teachers are treated by their bosses, they soon learn to treat their students!) Four years later when Miss Seeger retired, I became the next High School Chairperson, but it was too much, too soon. And four years later I resigned when managing and administrating stole too much of my time from the classroom. A few years later when the school created a strong department system, I became Chair of the History Department, but continued to teach.

Nineteen years after that initial faculty meeting when a new Headmaster, unimpressed with the school's innovative and distinguished history, led Dalton on an abrupt right turn, I left with some other teachers and started a small progressive high school, embodying some original Dalton principles. We named the new school The Elizabeth Seeger School, in honor of the splendid educator who was then in her early eighties.

We succeeded in keeping the progressive spirit alive in an increasingly conservative and test-oriented educational world and had twenty-four fascinating years with wonderful students and teachers at three different school sites. The years were filled with hard work, and laughter, and great mutual learning.

When Miss Seeger died in November, 1973, her family graciously granted to the school named for her the rights to all of her books. Those rights were passed to me when the school closed in 1995. This website is my way of sharing those wonderful books in which her storytelling is still so alive and captivating. I have remained as faithful to the original manuscripts as my computer's programs and the internet will allow and have included an Editor's Introduction to every book in which I explain any alterations or adjustments that I have had to make with the original manuscript.

In gratitude for the light that has been passed to me, I, in turn, am passingthetorches to you.


                                                                                                                                                                  Photos by Tracy Boyd © 1990

The Elizabeth Seeger School, 1990, in its home at the Old Vanilla Factory,

the oldest brick building in the Village of Nyack-on-Hudson, New York, built in 1836.

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by Carole Losee © 2005

Many years ago the torch was passed to me by a remarkable teacher, Elizabeth Seeger.

It was September, 1952, and there I was on the third floor of the Dalton School in New York City, figuratively clutching my newly-inked Vassar B.A. and hoping that no one would discover that I knew absolutely nothing.  This was my first faculty

Carole Losee in 1990. Nyack-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Photo by Tracy Boyd © 1990