Alan White, 1926-2017

Every death is a loss to those who have to continue their lives without the one that passed. Nothing new or remarkable here except for me and Danny and SVS. That is because throughout the past fifty years Alan was the rock that kept us anchored. He was there when we faltered or got discouraged and he was always able to give us strength to keep going and fight for what we believed in. In his quiet, calm and common sense approach to the many issues and crises that faced us, as all new institutions are bound to face, Alan was clear headed, open minded and fair. He was able to see both sides of any controversy, listened carefully to what concerned people and thus bring resolution to problems and make everyone able to move on and work together for the benefit of the school.

Alan knew how to be a true friend. He knew when and how to help and when to stay back and let us find our own way forward. Few people are able to be helpful without expecting anything in return, to be a strong backbone without weakening the one leaning on them. Alan was. He had a magic touch which made us able to stand strong on our own even as we leaned on him.

Sudbury Valley was lucky to have a man like Alan always willing to stand behind us and help us bridge many gaps in our thinking and execution of our ideas. He was practical and knowledgeable of the world of public education and taught us a lot.

I mourn his passing and feel grateful for the help he gave us and the school to overcome so many hurdles. He was a man who brought us peace and that is what I shall miss.

The views expressed on this page are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Sudbury Valley School.