For thirty years Sharon Draper was an English teacher in the Cincinnati, Ohio, public school system, instilling her love of reading and writing in generations of children, and inspiring them to reach for their greatest dreams. As a result Draper became a spokesperson for the teaching profession, crisscrossing the globe to talk about the importance of excellence in the classroom.In 1997 she received the highest honor an educator can be given when President Bill Clinton (1946–) named her the U. In 1994 the dedicated teacher became an author, releasing her first children's book, Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs.Pepperdine offered her a teaching position while she pursued a master's degree, but Draper chose to return to Ohio where she enrolled at Miami University of Ohio. During this same period, she married her husband, Larry Draper, who is also a teacher. As an English teacher in the Cincinnati Public School system, Draper earned a reputation as a no-nonsense educator who challenged her students to the limit."I demand the best from them," she explained on her Web site, "and they expect the best from me." Draper introduced students to classic and contemporary literature through seminar-like classes where kids were encouraged to discuss what they read in conjunction with current events."As a child, I taught my dolls, my dogs, and the kids next door." She singles out one woman, in particular, who served as a special role model: her fifth grade teacher, Mrs. According to Draper, Mann taught her students about Black history long before it was an accepted part of the curriculum.She also introduced them to classic literature, art, and music.That’s it.“I always love this club and I wanted to clarify and talk face to face, which is something Cockers never does.I think in the last few years people are getting sacked and this club was not like that before.
It never even occurred to me not to do well, not to continue to shine." Draper did shine brilliantly, becoming a straight-A student and going through almost every single book in her school library.
Draper's most recent young adult novel, The Battle of Jericho (2003), was named the Coretta Scott King Honor Book of 2004.
In interviews Sharon Draper credits her parents for introducing her to the world of books.
With scholarship in hand, Draper enrolled at Pepperdine University, located in Malibu, California.
In 1971, when she was just twenty years old, Draper graduated with a degree in English.