Novel Memorial In 1997, the Phoebe Hearst Elementary School community faced a tough fight: That spring, the newly appointed D.C. Emergency Transitional Education Board of Trustees placed the Cleveland Park school on its closure list. At the same time, Hearst parent Mette Horlyck Pharr faced a more personal battle, against breast cancer. Despite her illness, Pharr vigorously joined the battalion of Hearst parents and friends who fought the school system to keep the pre-K-through-Grade 3 school open. That March, Pharr attended the save-Hearst rally wearing a red wig and leaning on her cane. “She wasn’t feeling too good, but there was no place she’d rather be,” recalls husband Shaun Pharr. Hearst’s fight ended in victory. Mette Pharr’s didn’t: She died in August 1997. “The Cancer Society is always going to get its money,” Pharr told her husband before dying. “Let’s ask people to give to Hearst if they want to do something in my memory.” Tuesday morning, Shaun Pharr—along with the couple’s children, Jens, 9, and Ali, 5—presented Principal Betty Shamwell with 522 books purchased with monies from the Mette Pharr Memorial Fund. Spread out on a table in Hearst’s multipurpose room, books about people such as Jackie Robinson, George Washington Carver, and Nelson Mandela reflected courageous struggles not so different from the one in whose honor they were purchased.