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In Memory of NAIS President, John Chubb

Dear Colleagues,

ChubbIt was with great sadness Friday afternoon that I learned that my friend and colleague, John Chubb, President, NAIS had died the night before.

I met John after he was appointed as the new President of NAIS nearly three years ago. I remember a conversation we had early on in his tenure, where we discussed the need for our independent schools to focus on sustainability. John said to me that he wanted to lead NAIS to help our schools – not just to sustain, but to thrive well into the future. He was devoted to independent school education. The first time I saw John speak at an association conference I was very impressed. Not only did he have a grasp of the importance of our independent schools, but he was able to present for nearly an hour without ever using a slide, looking at a note, or missing a beat. He was able to recall data on so many topics. Subsequently, I had the opportunity to work with John and others on an NAIS Leadership Steering Committee. He was committed to helping the future leaders of independent schools be more thoroughly prepared for their difficult jobs.

John began his long career in education as a teacher, first at Stanford, and then at Princeton and Johns Hopkins universities. Teaching was always his passion and he was a strong advocate for the teachers in our schools. John had only a relatively short period of time to lead NAIS, but he clearly made a big impact. I will miss him personally as will anyone that knew John and was exposed to his passion and drive.

Unfortunately my sadness for the day continued when I landed in Denver, heading home, and I learned about the tragedy that was unfolding in Paris. It is inconceivable to me that we live in a world and a time that can foster such hatred and despicable, cowardly actions. I was relieved to hear that my friends who live in Paris are unhurt (physically) but I know that so many people lost loved ones in these senseless acts. One friend that has lived in Paris for a long time sent me a note – her words were to encourage me and everyone to rise above this:

We can do random acts of kindness and show generosity towards others. We can give our seat up on the bus, we can hand a stranger crying in the street a Kleenex, we can make way on the sidewalk, we can let a car merge ahead of us, we can help someone carry a load or cross a street. We can do regular, even daily acts that make a real difference in the moment in someone’s life. I believe that kindness begets kindness even in tiny moments.”

As you get busy with all of the regular tasks of the day, I encourage you to think about what you can do and how you can act to make a difference today – even to only one person.


Marc Levinson
Executive Director, MISBO
Follow on Twitter: @MISBOconnects   @Marcll
MISBO on LinkedIn

  1. Marc,

    I am so sorry to learn of this news. My dear mother’s departing words were, “Please be kind to others. Make people believe that their life has significance.”

    We should always leave people feeling better than when we found them.


  2. Julie Ray permalink

    A life well lived, filled with purpose and passion, inspires those left behind to prioritize what is important first in serving and making a difference for others. As a believer in Jesus Christ, I see us as each having an eternal path filled with important choices to love one another sacrificially with our words and actions. So grateful to serve in this community and see the purpose and imperative that independent education has to raise up the leaders of tomorrow, hopefully in footsteps like those of John Chubb, to heal the wounds and fractures caused by the senseless violence as happened in Paris and Lebanon and so many other places. You are difference makers. Never forget that.

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