Dr. Barbara Gillespie-Washington, a retired educator from Urbana School District, graduating from the University of Illinois, receiving both a Bachelor’s Degree from the College of Agriculture and a Master’s from the College of Education. Later she earned a Ph.D. in Theology at North Carolina Bible College.
During her years in education she has written curriculum, for the Urbana School District in math and science as well as helped in developing materials and science kits for classroom implementation. She has conducted many in-service trainings for teachers in these areas at the district, regional and across the state of Illinois.
Dr. Gillespie has worked at the University of Illinois in a multiplicity of roles. She has helped in developing specialized programs in pre-service education for teachers, served on various committees and taught courses in math and science. As quiet as it is kept, she was invited to work with Parkland College on the planning for the planetarium. Also she was personally selected to work alongside one of the Nobel Prize winners in science at U of I and his wife, in the writing, developing and implementation of the Project S.E.A.R.C.H. initiative. She has represented the U of I at the National Science Foundation in Washington D.C. exploring means for science advancement beginning in the early years. Other areas include work with the Illinois New Teacher Collaborative, (INTC), renowned teacher induction and mentoring program.
She is a committed community worker and advocate for youth, spending untold hours as chairperson of the NAACP ACTSO Program, Dr. Gillespie was one of the original board members in bringing to fruition the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum in Champaign, Illinois. For at least the last 19 years consecutively, she has been honored by some organization for her untiring devotion to helping others. While in Kenya, Africa, she met an 18 year old young man Other credits include, the author of two books, numerous published educational articles as well as the writing of stage pages for productions at the Krannert Center for Preforming Arts at the University of Illinois She has been featured in newspapers and periodical in her community and state. Barbara Gillespie has served and continues to serve on numerous national and local boards/committees. Her awards have been numerous.