In Loving Memory of Dr. Sylvia Charp

In Loving Memory of
Dr. Sylvia Charp

I first met Sylvia in 1980 when I had just taken my first microcomputers in education job. She made an impact on me then and has continued to be an individual I care about.

- Margaret H. Bingham,
former N.C. DPI Technology Director


Sylvia continues to mean so much to all of us who have admired her over the years for her intellect, wit, wisdom and achievements.

- Dr. Jan Van Dam, President, ISTE


Sylvia was such a driving force on the Accessible Classroom Project; my heart g'es out to everyone who is intimately involved in her life and activities.

- Dr. John Castellani, Johns Hopkins University
Center for Technology in Education



Sylvia was a role model to many of us in the IT educational field.

- Dr. C. Dianne Martin,
The George Washington University


I first met Sylvia when she was with the Philadelphia schools, and we have been friends and colleagues ever since. She was a feisty lady who did much for the betterment of education. She not only had an interest in the professional things, but also a sincere interest in the personal relation of those who she knew.

- Dr. Frank B. Withrow, ABLE Learning Co.


Sylvia was an educator and leader who helped improve education through the use of computers in this country and throughout the world. ... Sylvia offered a unique perspective on education and technology based on many decades of advocacy and experience in teaching about and with computers. ... She was always looking for what was genuinely new and effective - what could really help teachers with teaching and students with learning. ... I miss her already.

- Steven W. Gilbert, The TLT Group


Sylvia was a truly remarkable woman - an innovator, leader, motivator and friend to many. She touched my life and graced us with her presence at numerous meetings while I was coordinating the National Education Association's Accessible Classroom Project. She will be missed.

- Andrew Noyes, Research Research USA


My sympathy and prayers are with each of you and the family of Sylvia Charp as you suffer the loss of this gentle and talented lady. Be comforted by the thought that in heaven there are no more goodbyes and loved ones will have an eternity to be together.

- Sister Jean Raymond McBride, Mount Mary College

I just walked in from attending Dr. Charp's funeral. She was eulogized and lauded for her pioneer work with technology in the School District of Philadelphia and throughout the world. Most of the people at the funeral were family and friends. A colleague of Sylvia's wrote a loving statement in which he thanked her for her guidance and direction.

My short note to T.H.E. Journal is for the thousands of students and teachers in Philadelphia who now have access to technology because of Dr. Charp's determination and feistiness. In the early '60s, when I was a new principal, we had just begun to use machines instead of knitting needles; Sylvia was out in front of the crowd leading the way.

Dr. Charp was the tireless advocate for these newfangled contraptions. But, fighting for funding and technology recognition was too often her solo battle. Sylvia understood her mission, and her vision was clearer than most at the headquarters building. She surrounded herself with capable lieutenants, and Philadelphia soon surged into a national leadership position.

Sylvia did it all - fighting the system to nourish its curriculum and program. Our students and teachers who currently find themselves in IT leadership roles owe much to this woman of valor. For all of the people who were not at the funeral, some loving goodbyes were said for all.

- Dr. Leonard B. Finkelstein, LBF Management Research

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2003 issue of THE Journal.