Educational Editorial: Educators and the "Power List"

By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - My mother tells the story that when I was born in January of 1946, it snowed so hard that my father had a hard time getting to the Medical College of Virginia to see his first born.

Now as my fellow "boomers" and I prepare to celebrate number 65, become eligible for Medicare, and count down the last twelve months before full social security, we have a tendency to reminisce about what was happening when we entered this world.

1946 should probably be recognized as the year of the superintendent, but certainly not for me.

It was in 1946 that Dr. H I Willett became the Richmond's superintendent and continued in that role for the next 23 years. He was also national superintendent of the year and perhaps the only school superintendent to be on the cover of TIME magazine.

When he passed away in a Henrico hospital in 1986, Senator Henry Marsh, then a member of city council and attorney for plaintiffs fighting for integration, said, ""He was a capable, and in fact outstanding, superintendent… We were opponents . . . but we had mutual respect for each other. . . . We grew to be good friends before it was all over."

The Washington Post recently noted that the Forbes list of the 68 Most Powerful People in the World did not include one educator.

With 50 million students and an annual expenditure of $475 billion, you would think that there is someone of influence who might make the list.

While we speak loudly about the value of education in this country, and wait impatiently for the arrival of Supermen, maybe, like Dr. Willett, they are already here but seldom recognized.

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