Ada Dolch

  • Survivor, Family Member
  • Captioned

School principal in lower Manhattan on 9/11, who safely evacuated her school after the second plane hit the South Tower; Survivor and sister of Wendy Wakeford, who was on the 105th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

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This story was filmed as part of our Anniversary in the Schools program, which introduces students to first-person accounts of the 9/11 attacks. Participate in this year’s free program by completing this registration form

Teaching Guides

Find tailored questions below for teaching this story or download this article from the journal for the National Council for the Social Studies, which includes Ada’s story, teaching strategies, and an activity.

As you listen to Ada's story, think about the following questions:

  • What did Ada do when she arrived at school that morning? What made her realize something was wrong?
  • Why does Ada say fire drills were important? How did they help on 9/11?
  • How did the students and teachers get home that day? How did their actions demonstrate cooperation? 

As you listen to Ada's story, think about the following questions:

  • Describe Ada’s morning when she arrived at school. How did her morning change after she heard the sound of the first plane striking the North Tower? What made Ada decide that it was time to evacuate the building?
  • How did she and the other teachers stay in touch with each other?
  • What steps did Ada take to ensure that her students and teachers made it home safely?

As you listen to Ada's story, consider the following questions:

  • Describe Ada’s morning when she arrived at her school building. What information was she able to gather about what occurred at the World Trade Center?
  • What ultimately made her decide that it was time to evacuate the building? How did she and the other teachers coordinate their movements?
  • What steps did Ada take to ensure that everyone made it home safely?

Additional Resources

To view the walkie-talkie Ada used on 9/11, visit Inside the Collection. You can also learn about her sister, Wendy Alice Rosario Wakeford, who was killed on 9/11 by visiting the Memorial Guide. If you’re interested in hearing from more 9/11 family members and survivors, visit our Webinar Stories archive.