Dear NAIS Colleagues:
I am writing to share some sad news with you. I am very sorry to announce that NAIS President John Chubb died on November 12, 2015.
John visited countless member schools during his two-and-a-half-year tenure with NAIS, meeting school leaders, teachers, and administrators. These meetings fueled John, and he loved to share stories of his school visits with others. John was an advocate for independent education, but more than that, he saw the power of independent schools to inspire others. As he traveled around the country, he shared stories about your schools to encourage other schools to grow, innovate, and become more inclusive communities.
John was passionate about great teaching. He began his career as a teacher at Stanford University and later went on to teach at Johns Hopkins and Princeton universities. His teaching experience instilled in him a great respect and appreciation for the challenge of the work that educators do every day.
Excellent teaching was what motivated John to co-found Edison Schools, Inc., an education management company, in 1992. He served as the executive vice president and chief education officer, working with principals and teachers to improve the performance of schools and students. He took on that role after serving as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, DC, from 1984 to 1992.
John was deeply engaged in national conversations about education and school improvement for many decades. During his time at NAIS, John sought to bring national attention to the work of independent schools. He established NAIS research summits on topics such as the economics of independent schools, education technology, health and well-being, the science of learning and 21st century skills, and equity and inclusion. John convened researchers, practitioners, and policy experts to discuss issues of key importance to independent schools. These summits sought not only to raise the profile of independent schools but also to hone NAIS’s research agenda so the organization could better serve member schools.
John was committed to helping the independent school industry grow. He believed that our schools are a driving force in education, and he envisioned NAIS as a vibrant community of schools that serve a growing student body.
As both a thought leader and innovative practitioner, John made substantial contributions to all levels of American education. His work with NAIS has allowed the association to serve its members in an increasingly challenging world and to ensure that our voices are heard.
I’d like to thank all the NAIS members who supported John and NAIS every day. We plan to build upon the solid foundation John developed during his tenure at NAIS. Donna Orem, who has worked at NAIS for 17 years, including 11 years as chief operating officer, will serve as interim president. The NAIS board is confident that her strong leadership will help us forge ahead.
As we work to fulfill our mission to “empower independent schools and the students they serve” on a daily basis, we are grateful for the time NAIS had with John Chubb. We will celebrate John’s life and legacy at the People of Color Conference in December and the NAIS Annual Conference in February. Until that time, please join us as we send our deepest sympathies to John’s wife, Angela Chubb, and their family.
Chair, NAIS Board of Trustees
Head of School, Prospect Sierra School (California)
Donations in John’s memory may be made to the Melanoma Research Foundation, 1411 K Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005. For notification to family, please use "The Family of John Chubb" with NAIS's address: 1129 20th Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036.