Jim Grant – husband, father, grandfather, educator, family friend, and innovator – passed away today.
The first time I ever heard my favorite educational thought was during a Jim Grant workshop – “Kids don’t care what you know, until they know you care.” This has stayed with me ever since.
“Mr. Grant,” as I always called him, was a dear family friend; a relationship sparked when he was helping my parents find a summer vacation rental near Peterborough, NH. A deep and loving friendship soon followed. Our family and his would get together at the Grant homestead or at a lake house for a day of fun and friendship. At the time, I was young and didn’t grasp that I was sitting with and enjoying my time with one of my educational heroes; true innovators of education — Jim and Lillian Grant.
Mr. Grant and Mrs. Grant were the founders of Staff Development for Educators – an organization that provides fantastic opportunities for educators to enhance their professional practice. Today, professional development is an enormous part of successful schools. I don’t believe that the value of PD was recognized as much as it is now when Mr. and Mrs. Grant started this organization. They knew and believed that PD was integral to improving schools and enhancing learning experiences for kids.
As I was getting into the education profession, I would see Mr. Grant at a conference or family functions, and he was always so genuine and so caring with his words. It always meant a great deal to me. He was always someone I looked up to, especially because I was an educator. I would hear his name from other educators and, confidently, share with pride that he was a family friend. Even in the past few years, my mother would always visit with the Grants in NH, and I was always eager to hear how they were and what new journey or idea they had. They remained innovative.
I am saddened today by the loss of Jim Grant. Education has lost an ambassador and innovator. Mr. Grant was an educational guru and would definitely be on my Mt. Rushmore of educators. I will miss his “hello” at conferences, his fantastic New Hampshire accent and his charming and caring nature. May God bless Jim Grant.