We are devastated to share the news that our dear friend Ned Kirsch, superintendent of Franklin West Supervisory Union, has passed away suddenly. Since 2015, Ned has contributed to the League of Innovative Schools in powerful and tremendous ways—by asking tough questions, by doing hard work, and by creating joy in places that needed it. He was a remarkable collaborator, partner, and friend. We will miss him terribly.
Ned was a prolific supporter of Digital Promise, an original contributor to the superintendent advisory group that helped start Digital Promise Global, and a foundational member of the rural learning cohort and Challenge Collaborative Steering Committee. He consistently championed ways to make the world accessible to the students in his rural Vermont community by defining the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as part of their district’s North Star. He went to the White House many times to support innovative teaching and learning practices, including working on building a national agenda around maker education.
He led Twitter chats. He contributed to our Competency-based Education Toolkit. And, he could always be counted on as a great karaoke partner at our League events.
Ned was a husband and dad of two whose passing came as a shock to his family and community.
Please leave your favorite memories of Ned in the comments, and we will round up your comments for a larger tribute at a future date.
We will greatly miss Ned’s leadership in the League of Innovative Schools.
The League Team
“We want our learning for students to be authentic. We don’t just want it to be edutourism. We actually want to make a difference in the world. We base a lot of our work…on environmental issues. And how our students and students in other parts of the world are dealing with the exact same issues—air quality, water pollution, air pollution—and how we’re all the same but different, and how we can learn from each other.” -Ned Kirsch