Every so often one comes upon a person in authority who is a true leader and an inspiration. One such person was Chris Gonnet, Superintendent of Grande Prairie Public Schools. Chris was a friend, a colleague and a fellow champion of inspiring education. He died yesterday of heart attack. He will be missed by many, but most of all by those instructional leaders within Grande Prairie whom he supported with passion and commitment.
Chris and I worked closely together on the Real Learning First project with JC Couture of the ATA. JC and Chris had taught together in Hinton and both had a commitment to education, innovation and learning that I have always found inspiring. Chris was a champion of the Alberta : Finland partnership for educational change and development and, wearing this hat, he and I spend time together in Stockholm, Helsinki, Jasper and Boston.
Chris was an imagineer and passionate about the core values of a school system. He made a difference. He will be missed.
My heartfelt condolences to his family, his friends and his colleagues.