A Special Place in My Heart

Phil Schlechty was born a few miles from my childhood home near Dayton, Ohio.  When I had a chance to meet him later in our lives, I thought and continue to think that he was one the smartest and most visionary people I have ever met.  In fact, his insightful work in the field of public education is legendary.  One of his beliefs about the way schools ought to be is that they serve their purpose when they develop mechanisms for the active and continuous connection of families and the community to the schools.  Not only have I never forgotten this powerful belief, but it became the centerpiece of my career of trying to help educational leaders bring people together to make a difference.  In 1999, I asked Phil if he would write the foreword for my book, The Power of Public Engagement:  A Beacon of Hope for America’s Schools.  In saying yes, I learned that he was more then just intelligent.  He was also humble and kind – which is why he occupies a special place in my heart.

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