Hannah Kimberly at Gloucester House | Cape Ann Chamber Businesswomen’s Fall Event

Full house for author Hannah Kimberly’s talk at the 2017 annual Cape Ann Chamber Businesswomen’s signature fall event. Gloucester House is such a generous community venue. This stack of  A WOMAN’S PLACE IS AT THE TOP  hardcovers was GONE before the event was over, sold out by Charlie from the Chamber.

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Jenn Orlando, Cape Ann Savings Bank, chairs the Chamber’s businesswomen committee which oversees the Carolyn O’Connor Scholarship along with fostering connections through outreach like this Fall event. Orlando and Sara Young, President of the Chamber and director of Schooner Adventure, welcomed the guests and introduced featured speaker, Hannah Kimberly. Kimberly recounted tales and her rediscovery of 19th century feminist and adventurer, Annie Smith Peck.  Mayor Romeo Theken praised the writer, and was pleased that other Mayors are discussing this wonderful new book. She can relate! Kimberly shared a particularily competitive bit between the subject, Annie Peck Smith, and a famous male contemporary. (You’ll have to read the book to find out!) I will note that my table discussed that face-off sounding like a Bobbi Riggs vs Billie Jean King story of its time. Kimberly is working on a new book AND there is a documentary film in the works about Annie Smith Peck, the subject of  A Woman’s Place is at the Top. 

from the Chamber- Businesswomen’s Events – Through the year, the Chambers Business Women’s Committee puts together a number of mixer, luncheons and other events geared towards the business women on Cape Ann.  Proceeds of these events help to fund the Carolyn O’Connor Scholarship Fund, which is given each year to a recipient who is looking to change career paths or re-enter the workforce.

Whew! Whew! Whew! Hannah Kimberly featured speaker for Cape Ann Chamber Business Women’s Fall Luncheon

Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce Annual Fall Business Women’s Luncheon, October 12, 11:30AM-1PM, Gloucester House, 63 Rogers Street, Gloucester, MA

The Keynote Speaker will be Hannah Kimberly. I was reading Hannah Kimberly’s biography, A Woman’s Place is at the Top, about Annie Smith Peck when I heard the news that Saudi women would be granted the right to drive sometime in 2018 (though they still  need a sign off to marry, divorce, travel, get a passport, open a bank account.) I remember when my mother could get a credit card without my father’s signature. An Annie Smith Peck quote from 1874 brought to light in Kimberly’s research shows Peck knew this pain of persistent lobbying for permission:

“I have reflected for years, I am reflecting, I shall continue to reflect. The longer I reflect, the more convinced I am that it would be wise to go to college. Years ago I made up my mind that I should never marry and consequently that it would be desirable for me to get my living in the best possible way and to set about it as any boy would do. I do not think it is my duty to sacrifice myself, my happiness, and all prospect of distinction, to say nothing of usefulness for the very doubtful pleasure of my parents. Should I remain at home, as some people would have me, I should then be utterly unfitted for active life and should only be a burden to my brothers, useless and unhappy. If I am ever to be anybody or do anything, the time is now…John (her brother) would not have me on par with college graduates? Whew! Whew! Whew! What an opinion must he have of his own and William’s attainments if he considers that I am superior to what they were when they graduated…Why did John not pursue such a course as himself? ‘Too good talents to give them the benefit of a collegiate education.’ Dare you say that aloud? What if you applied it to a young man? Are you crazy? I am not afraid that my fame would be lessened should I be Valedictorian of the class of ’78 (1878!) in Michigan.” -Annie Smith Peck 

Michigan State fans will be happy:

Kimberly writes that in 1874 Peck “wouldn’t be able to place her finger on it at the time, but somehow, within her first semester, like the handful of other women studying the classics, Annie was treated as if she were equal to the men in her class. Indeed it was a blip in the history of co-education — a golden decade — when some of the first groups of women attended the University of Michigan and were recognized as mysterious, capable, attractive, intelligent, and not yet too numerous to be a threat to male power.” – Hannah Kimberly

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Meet Hannah Scialdone Kimberley

Hannh Kimberley Craig Kimberley ©2013

If someone had told me twenty years ago that my life’s passion would be dedicated to the field of education, I would have probably burst into laughter. In fact, I got most of the way through college with no intention to work with children. I didn’t really have any experience with kids. I had one older sibling, many older cousins, and two failed attempts at babysitting under my belt. I double majored in History and Latin American Studies at the University of New Mexico, and planned to apply to law school. As a young, idealistic college student, I imagined myself defending the rights of others – a female Atticus Finch. It seemed like a great plan as far as I was concerned – until one of my classmates told me about a part-time job teaching English to students from other countries. And so the educator spark in me was ignited.

In the last fifteen years, I have earned a Master’s Degree, a PhD, and experienced the best job ever: teaching little kids, teenagers, and adults. To learn more about my background and why I want to serve on our School Committee, read on…  kimberlyforkids