No words better describe Kathy Higdon Wilson than “force majeure!” Hailing from St. Louis, MO, and having earned her BS and Master’s degrees in Education with a special education focus, Kathy went on to marry Paul Wilson and relocate to Alexandria, VA.
She quickly jumped in to women’s rights issues, becoming a member of the National Women’s Political Caucus, culminating in her two-term Chairpersonship of the 77,000 strong organization. Honored by Washingtonian Magazine in 1985 as one of “Washington’s Most Influential” people as Caucus President, Kathy was influential in the Senate confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Kathy even hosted her own TV pilot, “The Kathy Wilson Show.”
After the birth of her children, Kathy made a lasting and powerful career decision to invest her considerable talents in early childhood education. She taught at Resurrection Children’s Center, a model early childhood inclusion program, for several years, then became Director of the Abracadabra Child Development Center where she spent eleven wonderful years.
Kathy was a passionate advocate and practitioner of inclusion – the right of all of children to learn and play together. One of her lasting legacies there is the outdoor play space, designed around the concept of access and enjoyment by all children regardless of ability.
Her friends, family and colleagues also remember her incredible wit and joviality, undeniably forceful presence, mother-bear commitment to the cause of children, and her fierce devotion to her own children Casey and Fletcher.
Following Kathy’s untimely passing at the age of 54 from a heart attack, Paul, Casey and Fletcher Wilson established the Kathy Wilson Foundation to honor her memory and her passion for inclusion. To that end, the Foundation funds initiatives and projects to help identify and support young children with atypical development, and those who work with and support them.