Barbara Dreyer, the long-time CEO of Connections Education, died earlier this week. Not only is Barbara’s death a loss for her friends and family, but also for the education reform movement.
Barbara was a tireless advocate for innovation in education and a compassionate woman who cared greatly about helping all students succeed. While K12 and Connections are viewed as competitors, even more we are partners in a greater cause to expand parent choice and educational opportunity for all children. On far more occasions than most know, K12 and Connections worked together to help bring new school options and choices to families across the country. Barbara always encouraged collaboration and teamwork among competitors within the industry – a mark of strong leadership. I was fortunate enough to have talked to Barbara on a number of occasions and, along with others, we talked about establishing an industry advocacy group. In every conversation, I found her to be one of the most insightful, passionate, and knowledgeable influencers in the education space.
Many of us at K12 were fortunate to call Barbara a friend. Her professional accomplishments and contributions to the digital learning industry were significant and her passion for the work she so loved cannot be overstated. She was a formidable leader with strong views who never shied away from sharing her opinions, whether you agreed with them or not. Barbara led Connections Education with strength, grace and dignity, especially throughout her long battle with cancer. Her perseverance is her legacy.
It is no exaggeration to say that many students across this country are benefiting today because of Barbara’s efforts, and while they may never have had the opportunity to know her, she left an indelible imprint on their lives.
All of us at K12 Inc. extend our deepest condolences to Barbara’s family and friends, and to everyone at Connections Education. We commend you, Barbara, for all you’ve done to help children throughout your life. You will be missed.
Chairman and CEO, K12 Inc.