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NNSTOY Statement on Passing of Ron Thorpe

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Editor's Note: Katherine Bassett, executive director of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY), sent the following email to her listserv.

We Stand on the Shoulders of Giants 
(Sir Isaac Newton)

In Memory of Ron Thorpe - Education Giant

With the heaviest of hearts, I am writing to share the news of the passing of a true giant in our arena, Ron Thorpe, President and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Ron was a visionary, whose passion for teachers and teaching transcended politics and demanded that we rethink everything that we do in our quest to educate all students and strengthen our profession.

A true gentleman, Ron was also a compassionate friend and possessed the most generous of spirits. Having been privileged to know Ron for over a decade, I was enriched by his wisdom, inspired by his passion, and driven to rethink my own opinions and positions on numerous issues through our conversations.

A man of gentle humor, Ron was deeply committed to the cause of professionalizing teaching, a cause that our two organizations share.  When NNSTOY was first revitalizing, Ron was a quick friend to us as on organization, and mentor to me personally. He offered us free office space in our first year of existence and carved out time to personally attend our national conference in its first two years to show his, and the Board's support for our fledgling organization.

A visionary, a trendsetter, a giant among educators. As we mourn Ron's passing, we at NNSTOY will also be celebrating his work and his legacy.  We will be standing with our friends at NBPTS in moving the important work that he started forward. We will stand on his shoulders. And, we will continue to hold him in our hearts.

- Katherine