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Topic: Teacher who helped girls dies in crash
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
Teacher who helped girls dies in crash
Posted: Mar 30, 2013 3:29 PM
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From The San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, March 28, 2013. See
Teacher who helped girls dies in crash

By Will Kane
PHOTO SIDEAR: Tania Madfes Photo: -, Courtesy Of Madfes Family
A San Francisco woman who devoted her career to encouraging girls to
pursue opportunities that had been denied to her has died after she
was struck by a car while crossing a street in the West Portal
neighborhood with her husband.

Tania Madfes, 68, and her husband, David Madfes, were returning home
March 21 from an evening at the Berkeley Repertory Theater and were
walking across Vicente Street at West Portal Avenue when a car struck
them at 9:40 p.m.

"We were crossing Vicente and - I can't reconstruct in my head what
happened - next thing I knew this car was there," David Madfes said
Thursday. "It hit my leg just as it came to a stop, and I fell and my
wife was lying on the street on her back."

Tania Madfes suffered brain injuries and died Wednesday at San
Francisco General Hospital. David Madfes suffered minor injuries to
his leg. The driver, whom police have not identified, stopped and
cooperated with investigators, police said.

"I looked up as we hit the ground, and the walk sign was green,"
Madfes said. "At this point, I see it as a tragic accident."

Police did not arrest the driver, but will forward the case to the
district attorney for further investigation, said Officer Gordon
Shyy, a police spokesman.

In her youth, Tania Madfes wanted to be an architect but was told she
couldn't take drafting and physics classes because she was a girl,
her husband said. When she grew up, she became a math teacher in San
Francisco and made sure to encourage girls to take math and science

"She was a leader in the mathematics community in this town and in
the Bay Area," Madfes said. "I'm standing here looking at a bulletin
board in our home office - it is a picture of her standing there when
she first started teaching holding an apple, and here's a red ribbon
that says, 'World's Best Teacher.' "

Tania Madfes later became a consultant with a San Francisco
education-oriented nonprofit, WestEd.

"She gave back in a lot of different ways, including wanting to build
confidence and futures for young women in mathematics," said Steve
Schneider, WestEd's senior program director for science, technology,
engineering and mathematics.

After retiring from WestEd, Tania Madfes partly realized her
childhood dream - designing and building a house in the Ingleside

Her husband worked with her, but Tania Madfes knew what she wanted, he said.

"When you were with Tania, you collaborated," David Madfes said, "but
you did what she wanted to do."

In addition to her husband, Madfes is survived by her daughter,
Sasha, and son, Michael, both of San Francisco. A public service will
be held at Congregation Beth Shalom at 301 14th Ave. at 11 a.m.
Will Kane is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: Twitter: @WillKane
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244

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