Roeper School founder dies at age 93 - KMSP-TV

Roeper School founder dies at age 93

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Flowers sit atop the Roeper School sign in memory of Annemarie Roeper.  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Flowers sit atop the Roeper School sign in memory of Annemarie Roeper. (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (WJBK) -

There was laughter and learning Monday in a non-traditional classroom setting at the Roeper School in Bloomfield Hills.  It is just what founder Annemarie Bondy Roeper wanted.  The 93-year-old started the school for gifted children with her husband, George, back in 1941 after they barely escaped Nazi Germany with their lives.

"We came out of the Holocaust and the idea was that scared, frightened people are easily manipulated, so Annemarie and George wanted a school where people would learn to create their own identity, speak up for truth and not ever march people into concentration camps," said Roeper Alumni Director Emery Pence.

Mrs. Roeper believed in giving children freedom and room to grow in an emotionally and intellectually supportive community.

Today, 560 students attend Roeper from preschool to high school.

"She's like my role model and Roeper is like my home," said 11-year-old Cecilia Cousins.  "I consider her an amazing person."

Mrs. Roeper last visited the school about three years ago for her ninetieth birthday.  A memorial service is being planned for August when her family members can attend from out of state.

With a flag at half staff and flowers left at the school entrance, Mrs. Roeper's pioneering spirit is being remembered.  Students also took part in an assembly in her honor.

"Her and George's ideas live on.  The idea of respect, tolerance, safety, speaking truth to power and each person growing in their own way, but for the betterment of society," Pence said.

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