See the Baltimore Sun website for the full story. Learn more about the ACLU of Maryland's Education Reform Project

(Bebe Verdery, second front right, amongst the leaders at a Thornton education funding rally in Annapolis, MD)

Bebe Verdery

( Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun photo / November 17, 2008 )

58, Education reform director, ACLU of Maryland 

Her passion for social justice is rooted in a childhood in the segregated South, but Bebe Verdery's activist battles have mostly occurred in Maryland. She's been the calm and well informed voice in many school funding debates, and her victories are many, but she's usually giving others the credit. Most recently, she was the architect of the $1 billion funding plan for Baltimore school construction. "We were starting from a place where the school facilities problem was not an issue that was in the public discourse," she said. "That was difficult and a lot of fun to figure it out." She'll never be in the classroom, but she hopes when city school students who testified in Annapolis see a new school rise in their neighborhood, they will have learned a lesson about democracy. 

-- Liz Bowie