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The Work Ahead: A Message from Our President & CEO

  • Date

  • Author

    Scott Hartl

At this uncertain moment in our country’s history when over 2,500 specific incidents of post-election bigotry and harassment in schools have been reported to the Southern Poverty Law Center and questions about "otherness" are deeply present, we at EL Education recommit ourselves to creating schools that build positive community and character alongside critical thinking and intellectual independence.

EL Education’s model was first developed in schools led by Kurt Hahn in the first half of the 20th century: the Salem (“Peace”) School in Germany and, after being released from a Nazi jail, the Gordonstoun school in Scotland. Our founding Design Principles, going back nearly 25 years, include: 

  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Empathy & Caring
  • Service & Compassion 

Kurt Hahn’s words reverberate for us today:

“Education must enable young people to effect what they have recognized to be right, despite hardships, despite dangers, despite inner skepticism, despite boredom, and despite mockery from the world.” 

The EL Education school network encompasses communities that are as diverse as this country. We have the honor of working in environments that are wellsprings of compassion, contribution, connection and courage in a country that, while deeply divided, is built on a strong foundation of core values of freedom and justice for all. Our aim is to understand each other, together forwarding our shared purpose of creating a better future for ourselves and our children.

This month, we are sharing resources on inclusion, social justice, and how schools can respond to an increase in hate speech and we look forward to sharing additional websites, articles, lists, and blog posts with you throughout 2017. Are there particular resources that you’ve been using as you work to ensure that all students feel a sense of safety and belonging in their school community? Please consider submitting to so that we can share with the entire network.

As Kurt Hahn often noted, “We are crew, not passengers.” I am deeply grateful for the collective character and commitment of the EL Education community. Together, we have an important contribution to make to the work ahead.