Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A gracious witness dies

Every CEO knows that he or she is totally dependent on one's administrative assistant to get you through the day, the week, the year . . . and maybe your life.  Well, in my case, I also had an AA--Gail Serra--who had a remarkable ability to give me the most meaningful Christmas/Chanukah gift each year.

One of the best examples was in 2009 when she arranged with with Facing History and Ourselves for me to have a personal visit with Dr. Maurice “Ries” Vanderpol.  I later wrote about the visit on my blog, here.

I recently heard from Gail learned that Ries died this past fall, as noted by FH&O.

As I look through my old blog post, I was struck by a comment from Patricia Ruane, about how Ries demonstrated that life experiences in one setting can be useful in another:

"Ries" brought his sage advice and wisdom to the aid of the principals and leadership team of the Brookline Public Schools, where he helped create a safe place for difficult discussion and conflict resolution. He invented a model of reflective practice that has been replicated by superintendent support groups throughout Massachusetts over the past 25 years. He is an inspiration and a resource for all generations.

I mourn his passage but I know I join many who were so grateful for the special times we had together.

1 comment:

Gail serra said...

Thank you Paul, for such a lovely post and remembering our friend Ries. I was always amazed and saddened at the same time, how he would recount this horrendous period in his early life and use it as a teaching narrative to young students. He was truly a remarkable and inspirational human being and I am privileged to have known such a soft-spoken, kind-hearted, forgiving individual. He will truly be missed…