A message from the Chair of our Advisory Board

By Stephan Blanford | February 13, 2020

We are moving forward!

January was a tough month for us all as we grappled with the grief of losing Courtney so abruptly. Her memorial in LA at mid-month was filled with laughter and tears, heartfelt stories from family and friends and a few sips of her favorite beverage of Fireball Whiskey and milk (which I never guessed would touch my lips but was actually surprisingly tasty).

But in the weeks since our final goodbyes, we have pivoted towards fulfilling her legacy and lifelong work with Integrated Schools. Andrew Lefkowits has produced and broadcast several well-received podcasts, our website and social media channels have unprecedented levels of traffic and new participants, and other activities like Parent Board meetings and Book Clubs are moving forward with a renewed sense of urgency. Our Advisory Board will meet early next week, and we’ve seen some nice financial contributions too.

Also critically important, a Transition Committee has been appointed to shepherd each of the activities that Courtney oversaw. Andrew, Ali Takata, Bridget Gernander, Molly Wheeler and myself are meeting weekly to discuss and decide on pressing issues with an eye to sustainability and eventual expansion. We are all ably facilitated by Anna Lodder, who volunteered for the unenviable position of “Transition Lead” as we figure out the best future for Integrated Schools. And many others in our extended family have stepped up in ways large and small.

Obviously, no one can replace Courtney, but we’re hoping that several heads and sets of hands can collectively keep us on track. Please reach out to any members of the Transition Committee with questions or concerns – each of them should also be thanked for their ongoing commitment. And I thank the larger Integrated Schools family for hanging in there with us as we work through the challenges before us. Courtney would be proud.

–Stephan

Dr. Stephan Blanford

Board Chair, Integrated Schools

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