It is with sadness that we report that our friend and colleague, Shirley Hord, died in October at the age of 90. Hord was known to many as a prolific writer, scholar, and researcher, and she had an immeasurable impact on Learning Forward and the field of professional learning.
Hord spent much of her career associated with the University of Texas and the Southwest Education Development Laboratory (SEDL). Her work focused on implementing change in schools, professional learning communities, professionalization, and professional development standards.
She was involved with Learning Forward for nearly 30 years, as a lead faculty member for the second graduating class of the Academy, as the research advisor on several editions of the Standards for Professional Learning, overseeing the development of the Standards Assessment Inventory, and chairing the evaluation committee of the Learning Forward Foundation.
Upon her retirement from SEDL, Hord was named Learning Forward’s scholar laureate. Since 2012, Learning Forward has presented the Shirley Hord Learning Team Award in her honor (co-presented with Corwin), an annual recognition of a learning team of educators implementing a teacher-led cycle of continuous improvement that transforms teaching.
Stephanie Hirsh, former executive director of Learning Forward, said, “She helped each one of us who had the honor of collaborating with her become deeper thinkers, better communicators, and deliberate planners. She was our guiding star.”