Frank White

Sadness. Frank White passed away yesterday. I feel the loss personally and I know it will be a great professional loss for educators.

Frank has been around since the beginning of ed tech. He’s worked for a number of educational software companies. He had a penchant for finding really good startups, and he was always looking to help them find a way into the very complicated educational marketplace.

I think what defined Frank for me was his personal style. When you were with him you were with a human being not an ed tech “automotron”… dead sure that they have the ‘silver bullet’ in their hands. No, he wasn’t a know it all; but he knew everybody and was a welcome warm and friendly voice on the phone or in person.

Frank was always looking for ways to help kids. He was selling…but it was a warm sell, not a hard sell.

For years I took Frank for granted. I thought he would always be there. When he’d invite me out to lunch I’d be too busy. In my mind I thought there would always be time to reschedule. There would be other chances to get together. It’s so easy for us to take each other for granted.

I know I tend to deal with colleagues via the roles they play and not see the person for who they really are.

“This woman is a vendor, I don’t need to call her back.”

I’m not saying we need to spend time with everyone who calls on us; but how many Frank White’s do we miss when we do? Sad for us. We’re the one’s poorer for it.

I really got to know Frank better over the past year. I made time to get together. We began meeting at a local diner to have breakfast or lunch together. I wish I had begun doing this much sooner. I didn’t realize how much Frank had to offer until I got to know him this way.

We’ve lost a good one.

I’ll miss Frank White.

pete

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