Cornelia Storrs Adair was a noted education pioneer. She began teaching in Richmond City public schools in 1904. She went on to serve for more than twenty-five years in the Virginia Education Association. In 1927 she became the first classroom teacher elected president of the National Education Association. Adair advocated universal education and took an active role as a volunteer in many community causes. During the Great Depression, she directed the Works Progress Administration’s Emergency Education Program in Richmond. In 1934, her alma mater, the College of William & Mary, awarded her the first Alumni Medallion given to a woman.
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