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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Hollywood writer credits Lawrence schools for career success

September 6, 2013

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Lawrence High School alumna Corinne Brinkerhoff has earned writing credits on some of the most successful TV shows of the last several years. And she gives much of the credit for her own success to the education she received while attending public schools in Lawrence.

“The fact is that growing up in a place like Lawrence and going to great public schools had a really big hand in making this career a possibility," she said.

Brinkerhoff was the keynote speaker this morning at the annual Lawrence Education

Corinne Brinkerhoff, left, writer and co-executive producer of CBS shows including "The Good Wife," "Elementary" and "Reckless," greets her former Schwegler School fifth-grade teacher Lynda Allen, center, at the Lawrence Schools Foundation Community Education Breakfast Friday at the Lawrence Holiday Inn. Brinkerhoff gave the keynote address at the event and gave credit for her success to Lawrence's schools.

Corinne Brinkerhoff, left, writer and co-executive producer of CBS shows including "The Good Wife," "Elementary" and "Reckless," greets her former Schwegler School fifth-grade teacher Lynda Allen, center, at the Lawrence Schools Foundation Community Education Breakfast Friday at the Lawrence Holiday Inn. Brinkerhoff gave the keynote address at the event and gave credit for her success to Lawrence's schools.

Community Breakfast, a fundraising event for the Lawrence Schools Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises money to enhance educational programs in the Lawrence school district.

As part of David E. Kelley's production team, she was a contributing writer to the show "Boston Legal." She has also worked on on "The Good Wife", "Elementary" and a new program that will air on CBS in 2014, "Reckless."

"The fact is, I had all great teachers, I really did," Brinkerhoff said. "And I didn't realize that was a rarity until I got to Los Angeles where public school is this horrifying concept to most people. Most of my colleagues have private school pedigrees and their kids are all in private school, from kindergarten up. I know that there are advantages associated with that. But I totally stand by my public school education."

With a healthy dose of self-deprecating humor, Brinkerhoff talked about the improbable career path that took her from Lawrence to Hollywood.

After earning a bachelor's degree at Truman State University in northeast Missouri, she went on to graduate school at Boston University, where she earned a master's degree in television.

"Which I think we can all agree is the most specious sounding master's degree ever, and cheapens every other legitimate M.S.," she said. "So if anyone here has an M.S. in genetics or something, I'm so sorry. You were mapping the human genome and I was writing papers on 'The Simpsons.'”

But the friendships and connections she built there helped her land a job, first as an unpaid intern, at Kelley's production company. Eventually, she worked her way up the ladder and became a full-time writer.

“It's really a dream job, and if you had told me when I was a second-grader at Schwegler School that this was going to be my life, I would not have believed it," Brinkerhoff said. "But I would have been psyched."

Two seniors from both Lawrence and Free State high schools were recognized Friday at the Community Education Breakfast as Student Champions. From left are Lawrence Chen and Logan Brown of FSHS and Puja Shah and Bryce Montes de Oca of LHS..

Two seniors from both Lawrence and Free State high schools were recognized Friday at the Community Education Breakfast as Student Champions. From left are Lawrence Chen and Logan Brown of FSHS and Puja Shah and Bryce Montes de Oca of LHS..

Susan Esau, executive director of the Lawrence Schools Foundation, said today's event raised nearly $60,000. Part of that money, she said, will be used to fund a new competitive scholarship program for LHS and Free State High School students who complete the district's course in entrepreneurship.

Also during the breakfast, Superintendent Rick Doll presented medals to four seniors in the Class of 2014 who were honored as "student champions."

Those awards are given each year to one male and one female student from each school's graduating class.

This year's winners were LHS seniors Puja Shah and Bryce Montes de Oca and Free State seniors Logan Brown and Lawrence Chen.

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Contact Journal-World education reporter Elliot Hughes: ehughes@ljworld.com

Comments

Scott Morgan 1 year, 2 months ago

A student in the United States can and do gain the best free education for all in the world. Some places a bit harder than others, but a great k-12 education is there for those who want it.

Hopefully more Lawrence residents will realize all those great teachers one hears about constantly need to have equitable pay relative to other districts in our area.

Clickker 1 year, 2 months ago

The article doesn't say when she graduated from Lhs

IreneAdler84 1 year, 2 months ago

I believe she graduated in 1998, Her talk was both funny and poignant. One of the finest keynotes I have ever seen. Good job Ms. Brinkerhoff and good job Lawrence public schools.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 2 months ago

In 1987 Lawrence,Kansas had a public school program to be proud of. This was prior to the massive budget cuts the republican party began to introduce. This was prior to the Koch/ALEC agenda item of bringing down public education.

She graduated before No Child Left Behind was implemented and massive budget cuts to stimulate the destruction of public education.

The Sam Brownback/ALEC agenda..... finish off public education in Kansas. STAT.

Lawrence,Kansas must stop pretending. Dumping public education is high priority on the Brownback/ALEC agenda.

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