Mary Beth Klee has worn many different hats: historian, educator, and writer. “While remaining decidedly flawed myself, I have pursued a life-long interest in human excellence," she says. "How do we mere mortals realize our highest aspirations, deepest strivings, and greatest potential? How can we achieve ‘excellence’ in our person and in our lives?"
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Klee holds her Ed.M. from Boston University and a Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Brandeis University. In 1991, after completing her doctorate and having taught history on the college level, Mary Beth founded Crossroads Academy, an independent day school in New Hampshire with twin goals of academic and moral excellence. As Head of School from 1991 to 1997, Dr. Klee oversaw the implementation of the newly published Core Knowledge Sequence. She and educators at Crossroads, were also seeking a character education program that moved beyond “values clarification” or “rights and responsibilities.” With a grant from the Challenge Foundation, Mary Beth authored and worked with Crossroads faculty to implement the literature-based Core Virtues program.
Core Virtues is now in its twenty-third year of publication. Mary Beth has published three revisions and updates to the program since its release in 1995 (2000, 2003, 2008). She has offered workshops and professional development training in the program throughout the United States, as well as Chile and Kenya.
Convinced that our striving for human excellence must be grounded in the nature of the human experience, Dr. Klee has also worked on the development of K-12 history programs. With exceptional colleagues at K12, Inc., she co-edited three middle school world history textbooks:The Human Odyssey, Prehistory Through the Middle Ages (Vol 1),The Human Odyssey, Our Modern World 1400-1914 (Vol 2),The Human Odyssey, From Modern Times to Our Contemporary Era (Vol 3) and one U.S. history text with distinguished historian Morton Keller: The American Odyssey A History of the United States. (2009)
Mary Beth currently serves on three independent school boards. She lives and works in Hanover, New Hampshire, but in the summer, enjoys all water sports with her husband Javier Valenzuela and family in Portsmouth, RI.
Books written or edited