George Lucas Educational Foundation

Pop Quiz: Sela Ward

An interview with the award-winning actress and founder of Hope Village, a program for abused and neglected children.
Edutopia Team
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Award-winning actress Sela Ward has starred in many movies, including The Guardian and The Fugitive, and is widely known for her work on television in the critically acclaimed dramatic series Once and Again, as well as in the medical drama House. But her greatest performance may have been establishing Hope Village in Meridian, Mississippi, which aids abused and neglected children. She is working to create similar nurturing spaces across the country.

What is your idea of a perfect teacher?

One who is stimulating, creative, and patient.

What was your most memorable school experience?

As a cheerleader, being run over by the football team as they charged onto the field.

What was the low point of your school career?

A very mean math teacher who ruined my favorite subject for me, forever.

Did you go to public or private school?


Where did you fit in your schools' social hierarchies?

As a cheerleader at a school in the South, it didn't get much better.

What was your favorite subject?

Originally math, and then art.

If you could change one thing about education in America, what would it be?

Spend more time on concepts, themes, and big-picture perspective and less time on memorizing facts.

What is impossible to learn in school?

What you can get only from the love and support of some derivation of a family.

What should they teach that they don't teach now?

Life skills and how to study.

What did you learn today?

Too much of even a good thing is too much; and, at the hair salon today, I learned that people actually dye their hair pink.

What did you teach?

Negotiating skills to my eight-year-old daughter.

What is in your dream lunch box?

Two spicy tuna hand rolls, two baked crab hand rolls, soy beans, miso soup, and a great glass of chardonnay.

If you wrote a textbook, what would it be called?

What It All Really Means . . .

If the prom were tomorrow, whom would you take?

The two favorite men in my life: my husband and my son.

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