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Public Prep


Each classroom at Girls Prep Bronx Elementary School is named after an inspirational woman. These classroom “namesakes” are selected as outstanding women of achievement whom Girls Prep students can identify with, look up to, and study.

Our namesakes wear many hats; many are known for accomplishments across sectors. Here is a list of our namesakes arranged into groups by the fields in which they first became known as trailblazers and influential role models – although many defy categorization as they belong in a league of their own!


Majora Carter with a student in her namesake classroom during Ms. Carter's annual class visit. 
  • Ruby Bridges: Activist known for being the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South
  • Majora CarterUrban revitalization strategist
  • Suraya Pakzad: Women’s rights activist from Afghanistan 
  • Malala YousafzaiEducation activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee from Pakistan

Actors, Singers, and Performers


Whoopi Goldberg and Girls Prep Bronx Scholars at the Third Annual Namesake Luncheon, Honoring Whoopi Goldberg and Barclays

  • Marian AndersonOpera Singer  
  • Julia ChildChef, Author, and Television Personality
  • Katherine Dunham:  Dancer, Choreographer
  • Tina FeyActress, Comedian, Writer
  • Judith Jamison: Dancer, Choreographer, Known as the Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
  • Gwen Ifill: Journalist, Co-anchor of PBS NewsHour
  • Whoopi Goldberg:  Award-winning Actress, Comedian
  • Tania LeónComposer
  • Jessye Norman: Grammy award-winning Opera Singer
  • Maria Tallchief: America’s first major prima ballerina with the New York City Ballet
  • Betty WhiteActress, comedian,  and television personality
  • Oprah Winfrey: Actress, Journalist, Television Personality,and Philanthropist


  • Wilma Rudolph: Olympic runner, Gold Medal Winner


  • Patricia PolaccoAuthor and illustrator of children’s books
  • JK RowlingAuthor of the Harry Potter series and other notable books


Joan Ganz Cooney with the 2012 Third Grade Girls Prep Bronx Choir at the Second Annual Namesake Luncheon, when Joan Ganz Cooney was honored. 

  • Jill Abramson: Former Editor in Chief of The New York Times
  • Joan Ganz CooneyCo-Founder of the Children’s Television Network

Politicians and Civil Servants

Caroline Kennedy reading to Girls Prep LES Elementary School students. Caroline Kennedy is a classroom namesake at Girls Prep LES Middle School. 

  • Helen Keller: Political Activist and Lecturer
  • Eleanor RooseveltPolitician and Human Rights Activist
  • Ellen Johnson SirleafPresident of Liberia
  • Hon. Sonia SotomayorAssociate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

Scientists and Women in STEM

Ursula Burns visiting her namesake classroom at Girls Prep LES Elementary School, the sister school to Girls Prep Bronx. 

  • Marie Curie: Noble Prize winning physicist and chemist who conducted research on radioactivity
  • Jane GoodallPrimatologist,ethologist, and anthropologist known for her work with chimpanzees
  • Mae JemisonAstronaut and the First African-American woman to travel in space
  • Ellen OchoaAstronaut and the first Hispanic woman to go to space

Visual Artists and Architects


Faith Ringgold visiting her Namesake Classroom on her birthday in 2010.

  • Elizabeth CatlettSculptor, Printmaker
  • Maya Lin: architect and designer, known for designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial 
  • Sisterhood
  • Scholarship
  • Responsibility
  • Merit

Public Prep Network, Inc.

  • 441 East 148th Street
  • |
  • Bronx, NY 10455
  • |
  • T: 212-346-6000
  • |
  • F: 212-346-9096

Public Prep is a nonprofit network of tuition-free, single-sex elementary and middle public charter schools in New York City.

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