My name is Kimberly Wilder. I am running for Riverhead Central School District school board. Today, my daughter and I bonded over our discovery of signs and postcards where the slate running opposite me has blurred out my name on their ballot photo. You can find the whole story and more photos at my campaign website: www.teamwilder.school

Vote Wilder: Children Matter Most

Kimberly Wilder, RCSD school board candidate.
Photo by Karen’s Cottage

Hello! I am Kimberly Wilder, founder and author at Georgiana’s Circle: Women Healing History blog. I am running for school board in my town of Riverhead, Long Island. My campaign website is at: www.teamwilder.school

I am a mom and an early childhood educator. I also have my Masters Degree in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) from SUNY/Stony Brook. I live with my husband and our daughter in a neighborhood close to the Polish Town area and down the street from Riverhead Free Library, where we go often.

I am hoping to heal history and make history in my own town. Our school district is very big. Riverhead Central School District covers the whole town of Riverhead, Long Island. Though, we also include parts of Southampton Town and Brookhaven Town. So, we have quite a lot of students and neighborhoods to serve. I want to make sure that we serve them all with dignity and enthusiasm.

Read more: Kimberly Wilder: Healing History at Riverhead Schools

One of the ways I was pulled into my concern for our school district was when I got ready to send my child to kindergarten. At that time, I realized that our four early elementary schools had very different ratings. It made me sad and curious that the same school district had such varied ratings at greatschool.org and other rating services. The school my child had been slated to attend was then rated “1 out of 10”. (I am happy to report that it has now been upgraded to a “3.”) Now, I have a lot of neighbors who send their children to that school. And, I understand that the teachers there work hard and try. Though, as someone who grew up in another town and only lived in Riverhead for ten years, I could not muster the confidence to send my child to a school rated a “1”. My child now goes to an independent, progressive school on a scholarship. I believe that if the public schools keep improving, we may send her to the local, public school someday. And, I want to help make that improvement happen!

I will be posting more here and creating position statements. For now, here are some of my areas of concern:

Constantly remember:
Children Matter Most

1. The Goal is Education. Our Riverhead Central School District board and budget should focus on how to best serve students. Our budget committee should focus on how to fulfil the needs of our students (not how to keep taxes low as a top priority.) We should enthusiastically promote programs such as UPK/Universal Pre-Kindergarten to the community and leave many open slots. Programs like this are often partially or fully funded by state and federal funds, anyway.

2. Caring Communication. Our school board, our school district, and our teachers need to communicate in a friendly and abundant way with students, parents, families, and the community. Communication is important for safety and to deal with emergency situations. Communication helps invite participation from students and families. Communication at the school board level helps create transparency, fairness, and participation.

It is heartening that our school district and our school clerk offer so many materials in Spanish language versions. As a school board member, I would be vigilant in ensuring that we have abundant and excellent interpreters where needed in school and CSE situations. As a school board member, I would advocate to try to get the school board meetings interpreted into Spanish. We have about 60% Latino students in our district. Some of those students and/or their families have Spanish as a first language. (Please note that the issue of Spanish interpretation was brought to my attention by a district parent and previous school board candidate.)

3. Good Governance and Transparency. Our school board meets on an ongoing basis with the pattern of a one hour executive session before the meeting, behind closed doors. Then, there is the open meeting with the public. While I know that some issues require privacy, I am worried that in that long amount of time, some issues may be discussed that should/could be public. I would like to consider a shorter Executive Session, or a meeting where the public gets the input first, and then the board meets at the end.

The issue of having Spanish interpretation and/or simultaneous translation could also support better governance. Currently, no one on our board truly represents cultural or racial diversity. Adding translation to the meeting could reach out to new members of our community to run and serve for board.

In my quick survey of newspaper articles about past candidate for board, and past board members who resigned, there are many issues and frustrations reflected with how the school board operates. I would like to fix some of these ongoing problems.

Election Day is Tuesday, May 16, 2023. That day, of course, is also the school budget vote. Your participation in both could truly help shape our school district for the better. I believe that I have some important and some out-of-the-box ideas to help improve education for all of the students at Riverhead Central School District.

Please Vote Wilder!

Please vote for Kimberly Wilder for school board member,
Riverhead Central School District: Tuesday. May 16, 2023.

If your neighborhood is served by one of our Riverhead Central School District early elementary schools, you will know that you are eligible to vote. Please register at the Suffolk County Board of Elections and/or at the school district office. You have until May 9th to register at the district clerk’s office at 814 Harrison Avenue.

Early elementary schools (and polling places on May 16th) are:

*Aquebogue Elementary School
*Phillips Ave Elementary School
*Riley Ave Elementary School
*Roanoke Ave Elementary School

The Jane Austen Centre has declared Dec. 16 Jane Austen Day. Austen, the beloved novelist, was born on Dec. 16, 1775, in Hampshire, England.

For more information, and ideas about how to celebrate Jane Austen Day, go to the LA Times story: here.

sc_woman_bookinwoodsThe recent argument among regular women, Anti-feminists on Tumblr and FaceBook, and Feminists has me seeking positive answers.*

My first answer to anti-feminists is to read the bell hooks (short) book: Feminism is for Everybody.

My most nuanced response is for everyone — though, especially feminists and Jane Austen fans — to study an amazing, new comic strip series: Manfeels Park.

I believe the Manfeels Park comic was started before the latest major media bruja-ja about feminism. The idea is to present a male apology for sexism by taking media and literature quotes, and illustrating them in a Jane Austen style. It is intelligent, thoughtful, and hilarious.

For a great taste of the collection, you may want to start with this one, here:
“Legitimate snake” (Starring Mr. Wickham, by the way). Though, so many of the strips are painfully funny, so flip through the archives. Any true Jane Austen movie fan will have to check out the “Lake scene” comic.

Looking forward to your interest and comments.

Kimberly of Georgiana Circle

PS – Compelled to say…”I am a feminist. And, I love my husband.” Grrrr….those anti-feminists have gotten to me!


For a thoughtful article on the current “Women Against Feminism” debate, please see a Washington Post blog post: here.

Jane Austen and Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire both lived during the Regency Era. So, at Georgiana Circle, we enjoy research and material about both!

Are you a Janeite? Or, a Janeiac?

I am. And, I can’t wait to see the new movie “Austenland”…

[Update! 9/15/2013: Just saw “Austenland” at a theater in Stony Brook, Long Island, NY. Loved it! Unfortunately for signs of success, my cousin and I were the only two people in the theater for the 7pm, Sunday night showing. Though, we both think it is wonderful. So, that is a 100% audience approval rating! There is a play-within-the-play — re: Mansfield Park– that is very amusing.]

I keep watching to see how the movie is doing. So far, Box Office Mojo reports its opening weekend totals as $40, 662. Those numbers have me a little worried, because Jane Eyre 2011 did about $182,000 its opening weekend, and I am using that movie as a similar comparison. Jane Eyre did not stay in theaters long. Fingers crossed for more success with the wider opening.

Besides numbers, I am looking at reviews. It has gotten a lot of reviews, and some good attention. Though, there are some negative reviews. I blame some of those reviews on the fact that most movie critics probably don’t resonate with Jane Austen. I wanted to share a pretty good review I found at The Washington Times. It has a good outline of the movie, and some compliments of the overall.

The review at the Washington Times is here: Movie Review: ‘Austenland’

In the end, “Austenland” is serviceable as a romantic comedy, but mordantly funny and surprisingly literary as a satirical romp through Austen fandom.

If you have seen the movie, please share your thoughts, responses, and/or review in the comments! We would love to hear!

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: Ultimate Fan GuideBuy Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire:  Ultimate Fan Guide for NookGeorgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: Ultimate Fan guide on KoboGeorgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: Ultimate Fan GuideBuy Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire:  Ultimate Fan Guide on Smashwords

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire:  Ultimate Fan Guide

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (born Lady Georgiana Spencer) is the great-great-great-great aunt of Princess Diana and a relative of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Kimberly Wilder has been  an avid fan of Georgiana and of the media surrounding her life. First, Kimberly set up the blog “Georgiana Circle: Women Healing History”. Now, Kimberly has created a new eBook. Both projects celebrate the life of this remarkable, 18th century woman. And, both projects invite reflection on history, fashion, and feminism.

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: The Ultimate Fan Guide celebrates Georgiana’s life as loving mother, entertaining friend, de facto politician, and Empress of Fashion. It includes reviews and an “Absolute Plot Spoiler” for: the 2001 biography by Amanda Foreman; the 2008 movie, “The Duchess”; the 2009 DVD; and the real life of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. The Ultimate Fan Guide also lists some of Georgiana’s relatives among English Royalty and places her in time related to the world of women’s literature.

If you are a Jane Austen fan or are preparing to view the film “Austenland”, a study of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire will give insights into the feathered hats, social scene, and other Regency Era details. Georgiana, an aristocrat who threw wild parties, and had a child out of wedlock, just may be the woman Jane Austen was afraid of.

The beginning of the first chapter in the eBook:

Introduction: Why I love Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire

She lived a wild life. She broke her vows. She broke the rules. She spent too much money. To the outside world, she seemed all about glamour and selfishness. Yet, she had a profound influence on the world around her. And, in the end, she left a legacy of love and connection among all the children of her household…,

To read the rest, buy the Ebook for only 99¢ on Amazon Kindle

The table of contents:

Continue Reading »

Jane Austen music? You might think I mean music of the 1800’s. But, no, there is a new blues song inspired by a Jane Austen character.

I went on Youtube, on a whim of boredom, to see what was new in the world of Jane Austen. Sometimes students put up book reports, or there may be an announcement for a new movie. What I found was even more fun. A singer-songwriter from Brooklyn has created a blues song dedicated to Elizabeth Bennet’s plain and bookish sister, Mary. “Oh, oh, oh, Mary Bennet…” This is a fun way to celebrate Pride and Prejudice.

Best quote: “Well, I want to see your library…”

Continue Reading »

Update: December 2011: Mixed news on the disposition of the “new” Charlotte Bronte manuscript. At auction, it was won by a museum, so it will still be available to the public. Though, instead of the Bronte Parsonage Museum in England, it went to a literary museum in France. Story at “The National”: here.

KW writes: For all of us Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bronte fans, this tiny book is a rare find! Written when Bronte was only 14 years old, it is a brilliant piece of satire. Bronte created this tiny work in the format of a men’s magazine. It includes a witty ad (see below), which observes economics and social justice in her usually insightful, though aloof, manner. It’s a kind of Mad Magazine for the 19th century. And, it contains a hint into her future sociological writing, such as her reflections on charity schools in Jane Eyre, and her novel, Shirley.

Bronte manuscript. Image from: i.dailymail.co.uk

(excerpt from) The Telegraph & Argus
[Brontë] Parsonage Museum in Haworth [England] is eager to ensure ‘national treasure’ is not lost to the public
UK/November 14, 2011

An appeal has been launched to help fund the purchase of a rare Charlotte Brontë manuscript.

The Brontë Parsonage Museum is appealing for financial support from the public and funding bodies.

It needs to raise up to £300,000 to cover the expected cost of buying the work at an auction next month.

The unpublished manuscript contains three works written by Charlotte – author of Jane Eyre – when she was 14.

Charlotte’s Young Men’s Magazine Number 2 contains 4,000 words set in a fictional world created by the famous literary siblings.

The book, until now in private ownership, is believed to have never before been seen by scholars. Continue Reading »

This blog is devoted to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and other ideas related to women’s empowerment and women in history. So, there have been some Jane Eyre/Charlotte Bronte threads, and some Jane Austen threads.

Overall, I am not a great fan of the monarchy and royalty. I enjoy meditating on more democratic, egalitarian, and feminist ways to shape society. Though, I felt like the news about Jane Austen and Kate Middleton gave me entree to post a few pieces of royal watching interest. See more below the Jezebel story…

(excerpt from)Jezebel

Kate Middleton and Jane Austen Are Related

Ancestry.com has discovered that Kate Middleton, Duchess Of Cambridge…and Jane Austen are are eleventh cousins, six times removed… “Finding this connection between the Duchess of Cambridge and Jane Austen is very exciting since, in many ways, Catherine is the modern Jane Austen heroine: a middle-class girl marrying the future King of England.”

More Royal Watching News:

My husband and I have started a new project. It is a website called
Peace Couple. The first project on Peace Couple is a royal tour by The Duke and Duchess of Peace. Their tour of America happens to coincide with the North American tour of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Duchess Catherine. The Duke and Duchess of Peace have very different ideas of what it means to be royal.

More Royal Watching (and a Georgiana mention):

With all that dismissing of royalty aside, I have to confess something. I love Princess Diana. And, while I was Princess Diana watching, I became interested in the life of Sarah, Duchess of York (Sarah Ferguson). And, Sarah Ferguson is related to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire — Sarah Ferguson is a descendent of Georgiana’s love child, Eliza.

So, my mom asked me to take her to meet Sarah Ferguson at a local book signing, and I couldn’t say no. Below are some fun photos of Sarah, Duchess of York, who was on Long Island yesterday, June 28th:

June 28, 2011: Sarah, Duchess of York and fans

Sign at Book Revue announcing Sarah Ferguson

Sarah, Duchess of York signing her new book

Georgiana's Feathers

Princess Beatrice’s Famous Royal Wedding Hat
(see video at bottom of this post)

If you are a fan of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire — born 1757, died 1806, glorified in the movie “The Duchess” — then you probably know that Sarah Ferguson and her daughters are descendents of Georgiana. Their family tree extends from Eliza, the love child of Georgiana and Sir Charles Grey.

Georgiana was known for known for her trend-setting fashions, and also, for her ability to use fashion to send a message and garnish attention. So, it is not surprising that Princess Beatrice’s daring wedding hat has inspired a FaceBook page which is at 115,000 hits (As of Sunday evening, 5/1/2011) and climbing. Georgiana’s hat choices were often shocking or problematic. So, it is not out of the family tradition for Princess Beatrice’s hat’s most popular page to be a critique. In fact, it is called, “Princess-Beatrices-Ridiculous-Royal-Wedding-Hat FaceBook Page”.

If you would like to defend Princess Beatrice, and the artistic leap of faith she took, you might consider joining, “Royal Wedding Hats – In Defense of Princess Beatrice and Her Lovely Hat FaceBook Page”. Which, I am sorry to say, stands at only 407 members. Continue Reading »