I just wanted to share with you two reflections I have about Ron. The first is that he had this uncanny ability of making one feel like they had altered the course of his existence! I promise you, I played a very minor role in helping him launch the WNET Celebration of Learning, and yet he had this way of making you feel that you were central to his success. It takes a very special person who leads in such a way that he makes everyone involved feel that they played a bigger role in the event's success than he did- a truly unique personality trait in my experience.
Second, Ron was not only a friend, he truly inspired me. When he was considering the position at NBPTS he called me (and several others) and asked one question: can the NBPTS be a platform for transformation? I immediately answered "yes". It wasn't until he was convinced of this, that he took on the challenge. What is impressive is that he not only put NBPTS on the road to reach its potential, but really embraced a bigger vision for the future of teaching. In his keynote at his conference in March, even in his weakened condition, he gave a remarkable speech on professionalizing teaching. It totally captured my imagination. I was riveted by it.
So as you all gather at the end of the month in CT I hope you all will not only reflect on Ron's great life - as we all should. But we should also reflect on the power of the vision he was articulating near the end of his life. I, for one, not only want to dedicate myself to the vision he was urging us toward, but would love to do it in his name. If there is some vehicle by which many of us can pull together and honor his vision by trying to attain it, I would very much like to be apart of it - not just committing to more NBPTS certified teachers, but eliminating second-rate colleges of education, dramatically increasing teacher salaries etc. If there is a way to spend the next decade attempting to attain that vision, that would be a tribute to Ron well worth our collective time.