The Lopez and San Juan Islands’ community lost a good man, a good friend and a leader a few days ago. We also lost a role model educator, who epitomized what education should be about. We owe our friend Greg Ewert our deepest gratitude for consistently and unflinchingly showing us what good teaching, good schools and education in general should be. Our sincere sympathies and condolences go out to Greg’s family, as well as our appreciation and humble thanks for sharing Greg with us all these years.
Right up to the end, Greg was a stalwart advocate of public education and the education of the whole child. Greg modeled what that looked like in his long teaching career on Lopez.
He showed us that an education of the soul, of the spirit, and most importantly, of the imagination, was the most critical element of a good school. Greg’s love of nature, the arts, and the creative, emotional, and environmental intelligences came through loudly and clearly in his teaching. His dedication to the powerful impact of hands-on learning was epitomized in his many outdoor, experiential learning opportunities he provided to his students, the school, and the community.
Whether it was hiking a coastal beach in the rain, playing table-tennis with middle-school youth, organizing week-long experiential alternative learning weeks at school, or leading students in service in Nicaragua, Greg’s impact upon the education of our Lopez youth was immeasurable. Greg educated for life, not just the state assessment du-jour. As a result, Greg helped Lopez School continue its mission of nurturing life-long learners with a passion and the tools for changing the world.
Greg’s legacy will live on in the community support and commitment to our Lopez School that Greg worked so hard to help develop, never took for granted, and for which he was continuously grateful.
As one small token of appreciation and as a lasting reminder of his influence on our school and our community, the school board has approved the naming of Greg’s beloved middle school commons as “Greg Ewert Commons.” A carved wooden sign will be erected soon to further remind people of his legacy.
Goodbye old friend, and thank you for your educational leadership and love of the unbridled spirit of young people.
Lopez School Superintendent