The longtime Philly teacher who inspired ‘Abbott Elementary’ is honored at Overbrook High School

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Longtime educator Joyce Abbott — a champion for students in Philadelphia — was Overbrook High School’s guest of honor this week in a celebration fit for a queen.

You may find the name familiar because Abbott inspired the hit television show, “Abbott Elementary.”

Show creator and Philly native, Quinta Brunson, created the award-winning series which airs on ABC, about a fictional Philadelphia elementary school.

Retired Philadelphia teacher Joyce Abbott, the inspiration behind the hit television show ”Abbott Elementary,” is is celebrated with a ceremony at Overbrook High School. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The show highlights the impediments faced by an inner-city school staff as they teach their young charges. The award-winning show also offers satire and heart in equal measure.

As the show made headlines worldwide, people wondered if the name of the school was real.

Brunson shared she found inspiration for the name of her show from her former teacher.

Brunson recalls Abbott motivated and encouraged her to become the award-winning producer and actress she is today.

  • September 28, 2023
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