Baltimore, MD - May 8, 2017 - About 35 years ago, Beth Tfiloh's Director of Education, Mrs. Zipora Schorr, was enrolled in a master’s program at Johns Hopkins University. She took a break “to have a couple of children and build a school”, as she puts it. Last week, she experienced the thrill of successfully defending her dissertation, earning her a doctorate in Educational Administration and Leadership. She joins her husband and daughter who also hold doctorates, both in psychology.

“I was probably the only graduate student whose advisor came to my office, instead of going to his office, since I was busy with school,” Dr. Schorr chuckles, reminiscing about her days at Hopkins. “Because I took a break, years elapsed, as did my credits.  I was not prepared to start from the beginning, since I had put in a great deal of time and effort. When I discovered that Gratz College, in Philadelphia, would accept all my graduate credits, I transferred to that program.  I still had to take 30 hours of graduate credits, though—some online, some I taught, plus I had to spend two summers at Gratz. Gratz also allowed me credit from teaching at the Harvard Principals Institute, during the summer, which worked out well for me.”

After taking all her credits, her comps, and writing papers, she defended her dissertation in a grueling process, last week.

“I had six professors questioning me, and very granularly getting into the essence of my dissertation,” explains Dr. Schorr. “It’s a very interesting process… After they met privately, they came out of the room and the wonderful news was broken to me, when one of them said, ‘Congratulations, Dr. Schorr!’ It was very emotional for me.”

Dr. Schorr quotes the MishnahMekol melamdai hiskalti…— I have learned much from my teachers, even more from my colleagues, but from my students, I have learned the most—when she reflects on her recently earned degree.

“This is not about recognition or honor of any sort, it is about a dream and fulfillment of a dream. It is about having a goal, focusing on that goal, and working really hard to achieve that goal—to me, this is really how it feels.

This is a culmination of all of those years learning with and from others. It represents a compendium of knowledge that I’ve gained over the years of truly learning from and with so many people.”

Dr. Schorr will address this year’s graduating class of Gratz College at its graduation on May 21. Although she is a popular and seasoned speaker, she shares, “I have been asked to speak many times before, but this is pretty special for me; when you have aspirations and goals that come to fruition, it is a thrilling feeling—like climbing a mountain.”