Annemarie Roeper (August 27, 1918 – May 11, 2012) was a pioneer in gifted education who founded the Roeper School.
Annemarie Bondy Roeper
|Born||August 27, 1918|
|Died||May 11, 2012(aged 93)|
Annemarie was born on August 27, 1918 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary, to parents Max and Gertrud Bondy.
Gertrud Bondy was a medical doctor as well as a psychologist in training with Sigmund Freud. Gertrud and her husband Max founded a series of schools focusing on, “psychoanalytic understanding of human development and a desire to educate children to build and thrive in a pluralistic, democratic society” including a school in the town of Marineau. Annemarie observed the strong independent educational ideals very early in life in the school that her parents were creating. Though the family consisted of mainstream Lutherans, the Bondys were of Jewish heritage. After the Nazi party came to power, Annemarie and her father Max fled their school in the spring of 1937 with the help of George Roeper and continued on to the United States in 1939. Annemarie married George Roeper in New York City on April 20, 1939 and began a new adventure.
Annemarie Roeper never fully finished any higher education past high school. While a medical student at the University of Vienna in 1937, she was the youngest person to ever be accepted to study child psychoanalysis with Sigmund and Anna Freud. The March 1938 the German invasion of Austria prevented her from being able to truly begin her studies. Roeper was able to flee on the last train across the Austrian border before the Germans invaded while Sigmund and Anna Freud fled soon after. Eastern Michigan University awarded an honorary doctorate to Roeper and her husband, George Roeper, in 1978.
Roeper and her husband, George, established The Roeper School in 1941 with only nine students. Today the school serves over 630 students, from preschool to 12th grade, still focusing on an intense recognition for every student's needs, and a profound appreciation for emotional and intellectual commitments.
Roeper is recognized as a pioneer for gifted education. Her insistence that the soul of the gifted child is as important as their cognitive abilities has influenced how many gifted educators and counselors interact with these children.
In 1941 Roeper and her husband were invited to Detroit to direct a nursery school and also established a grade school. Their schooling techniques caught on quickly, and the school grew rapidly. The Roeper School began expanding so much that in 1946 they purchased a campus in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and in 1981 they purchased a campus in Birmingham, Michigan.
In 1946, they purchased a campus in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and in 1981 the school expanded to include a second campus in Birmingham, Michigan.
In 1956, the same year that Roeper and her husband George established the first board of advisors for the Roeper School, they also congregated a panel of national experts and developed a curriculum for gifted children. In September 1956 the Roeper School became only the second school in America to focus solely on gifted education. Annemarie Roeper's ideas about young childhood cognition caught the likes of Joan Ganz Cooney, and together they worked and consulted on the development of Sesame Street. Roeper was a workshop consultant while working on the show.
Roeper taught courses at Oakland University on gifted education and retired from the Roeper School in 1980, although she remained on the board of trustees until 2002. In 1989, Roeper received the President's Award from the National Association for Gifted Children for a lifetime of distinguished service to the field.
Roeper published over 100 articles and book chapters, three scholarly books, four children's books, and her most recent – and last – publication, ‘Beyond Old Age’. She also developed the Annemarie Roeper Method of Qualitative Assessment to provide a deeper understanding of a child's personality and abilities. She has been listed in Who's Who, Women of the World, and Who's Who of American Women.
Roeper was active with the Merrill Palmer Institute in the 1950s, which was a group of pediatricians, psychologists, and educators in Detroit that met to discuss children's emotional development. Roeper was the president of the Metropolitan Preschool Association in the late 1950s and early 1960s, served on the Michigan State Advisory Council for Early Childhood Education from 1965 to 1968 and was on the Oakland University Advisory Council from 1966 to 1968.
Roeper died from pneumonia and other health problems on May 11, 2012, in Oakland, California. She was 93 years old.
Roeper is survived by her brother, Heinz Bondy and his wife, Carolyn, of Germantown, Md.; by three children: Tom Roeper and his wife Laura Holland, of Amherst, Mass., Peter Roeper and his wife Martha Harnly, of Oakland, Calif., and Karen Roeper and her husband Peter Rosselli, of Muir Beach, Calif.; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
She wrote at least three books:
- Educating Children for Life: The Modern Learning Community (1990)
- Annemarie Roeper." Selected Writings and Speeches (1995)-
- The "I" of the Beholder: A Guided Journey to the Essence of a Child (2007)
- Kane, Michele. "An Evolving Field: A Conversation with Annemarie Roeper: A View from the Self." Roeper Review 26:1 (2003), 5-11.
- Roeper, Annemarie. Selected Writings and Speeches. Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing, 1995. 
- A conversation with Annemarie Roeper. 
- A YouTube interview. 
- Obituary on Roeper School website.