Friday, December 2, 2016
R.I.P. Marge Borchert
Last night, driving back to Brooklyn from Fordham after a Bronx Education Forum I learned of the sudden death of Marge Borchert, a great elementary school principal in a community near Buffalo who to me and many others, epitomized the passion, creativity and courage that we want in those given the care of our children
I am crushed.,
I never met Marge in person. But she had become someone whose insights and wisdom I had come to count on in private messages on Facebook.exchanged literally hundreds of times in the last four years. We could not be more different. She was small town. I was city. She leaned toward the conservative side' I leaned to the left. But when it came to protecting children from the machinations of the arrogant poicy makers who were deforming education policy in this country, whether housed in Washington, Albany or the offices of large foundations we were as one. I revelled in her stories of getting more than 80 percent Opt Out in her school, her love of nature and its incorporation into her school pedagogy, and her standing up to state commissioner Mary Ellen Elia when Elia visited her district.
Over time, she became a moral compass to me whose insights I depended on almost daily..
I can't believe she is gone. I never knew she was ill. I know her school and community, as well as her family, must be in mourning.
For me, she symbolized the optimistic, forward looking spirit of small town America and the ability of great educators to keep children's interest first at a time when many policians view them through a far more cynical lens.
Never did we need Marge's voice than now- when we are divided, fearful, at one another's throats, and facing even greater challenges than we had in the past.
I will always remember her voice in my ear and try, in whatever way I can, to keep her legacy alive
You may have passed from this earth Marge, but you will always be in my heart and all the children you have inspired will keep your legacy alive.,
Rest in Peace. Rest in Kindness. Rest in Love