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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California gestures while speaking during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California gestures while speaking during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Cheers for Nancy Pelosi’s Baltimore roots (“Baltimore roots gave Pelosi the grit required to stand up to bullies,” Oct. 21). Her character was honed by her family, her faith, her environment and her education. Throughout her political career, she has shown herself to be honest, faith-filled, strong and wise.

“As the twig is bent, so the tree is inclined.” Speaker Pelosi was educated from grades one through 12 at the Institute of Notre Dame, a Catholic school for girls founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1847 in downtown Baltimore. There, she learned the gospel principles of life, and she is still living them.

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As a high school teenager, Nancy was very “ordinary,” according to her classmates. She had a great sense of humor and kept them laughing. She had little interest in participating in sports, but was an energetic fan. An excellent student, she was a member of the National Honor Society. That her father was mayor of Baltimore did not set her apart. Upon graduation, she attended Trinity College in Washington, D.C., then a women’s college. This single-sex, Catholic education gave her the interior understanding of her strength of spirit and the will to use it for public service.

She also may have been inspired by Institute of Notre Dame history. After 172 years, having survived the Civil War, World War I, The Great Depression, World War II, and various uprisings and riots, the Institute of Notre Dame still stands strong as an anchor for East Baltimore, and still continues to educate high school girls to become women of conviction.

Nancy is heir to a great legacy from both her family and her high school, the Institute of Notre Dame.

Kathleen Feeley

The writer is president emerita of Notre Dame of Maryland University.

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