Massachusetts education lost a great friend and I lost a valued colleague with the passing of Mitchell Chester, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. As we at MBAE process this loss, our hearts go out to his family and to our colleagues at DESE who relied on his leadership to keep the Department and Massachusetts moving forward.
Mitchell’s accomplishments will be chronicled by people far more eloquent than me, so I won’t try to capture all that he did for Massachusetts K-12 education or the influence and respect that he had across the nation. But, there is no doubt Mitchell’s unwavering focus on serving the needs of children, even when it caused discomfort to adults, will be his legacy. His courageous and steady leadership will have a long and lasting impact on our state’s students.
We can honor his memory by continuing to fight for educational opportunities for all children and to eliminate the achievement gaps that he was so determined to close.
Remembering Mitchell Chester with respect and fondness,