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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 Carter: Urban revitalization strategist
  • Suraya Pakzad: Women’s rights activist from Afghanistan
  • Malala Yousafzai: Education 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 Anderson: Opera Singer
  • Julia Child: Chef, Author, and Television Personality
  • Katherine Dunham: Dancer, Choreographer
  • Tina Fey: Actress, 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 León: Composer
  • Jessye Norman: Grammy award-winning Opera Singer
  • Maria Tallchief: America’s first major prima ballerina with the New York City Ballet
  • Betty White: Actress, comedian, and television personality
  • Oprah Winfrey: Actress, Journalist, Television Personality,and Philanthropist


  • Wilma Rudolph: Olympic runner, Gold Medal Winner


  • Patricia Polacco: Author and illustrator of children’s books
  • JK Rowling: Author 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 Cooney: Co-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 Roosevelt: Politician and Human Rights Activist
  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: President of Liberia
  • Hon. Sonia Sotomayor: Associate 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 Goodall: Primatologist,ethologist, and anthropologist known for her work with chimpanzees
  • Mae Jemison: Astronaut and the First African-American woman to travel in space
  • Ellen Ochoa: Astronaut 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 Catlett: Sculptor, 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
  • Upper Campus (3-4)
  • |
  • 1695 Seward Avenue, Room 219
  • |
  • Bronx, NY 10473
  • |
  • T: 718-860-8774
  • |
  • F: 718-860-8777
  • |
  • Lower Campus (K-2)
  • |
  • 1025 Morrison Avenue
  • |
  • Bronx, NY 10472
  • |
  • T: 718-328-5684
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