Women’s History Month – Dr. Lucy E. Moten

Women’s History Month – Dr. Lucy E. Moten

Women’s History Month 

Dr. Lucy E. Moten

UDC Alum:  Doctor and Principal, Miner Normal School

An educator and doctor, Dr. Lucy E. Moten was the first African-American principal of The Miner Normal School, founded by Myrtlla Miner. For 37 years, she was responsible for training many of the teachers in Washington, D.C. African-American schools from 1883 to 1920.

The school was first a privately controlled institution for the preparation of African-American teachers in the District of Columbia. Frederick Douglas, a member of the Miner board offered the position to a very young Lucy Moten. A progressive educator, one of her chief contributions to the D.C. school system was her  insistence on careful selection of students for the teaching profession.

At the time Dr. Moten was principal, Miner Normal School was a two-year public teacher training institution, where emphasis was placed on morals and manners and the personality of the student, as well as upon academic achievement and professional training.

While heading the Miner School, she enrolled at Howard University Medical College so she could better care for her students’ health and to create a new course on hygiene. By linking her professional advancement with that of the school, Dr. Moten became an inspiration to her students, instilling cultural pride, dedication, and discipline as well as developing their academic preparation.

An alumnae of Howard University, class of 1870, she continued her studies earning degrees with Salem Normal School in Massachusetts, Spencerian Business College and a medical degree from Howard University Medical School in 1897.

Moten’s teaching was not limited to the Miner Normal School. She also spent many summers training teachers in the South, which led to her getting further graduate work at New York University in the field of education. Her commitment to education also led her to Europe, where she broadened her educational perspective and came upon the architectural style that she decided would be used in building the new Miner Normal School, a replica of Christ’s College in Cambridge, England.

Dr. Moten was born in 1851 in Fauquier County, and died on August 24, 1933.

For more information on Dr. Lucy E. Moton, see the link to the article in Notable American Women Biographical Dictionary: