Kevin Ohlandt, the author of the blog Exceptional Delaware, here pays tribute to teacher Laurie Howard and names her as the Hero of the Year for her exceptional dedication to teaching and students. Laurie Howard recently died of lung cancer, far too young.

She fought corporate reform, against great odds.

Kevin writes:

I’ve known Laurie for almost three years. I met her through this blog. A teacher in Caesar Rodney School District, Laurie and I were in fierce agreement on many things. That standardized testing in the form of the Smarter Balanced Assessment is wrong. That every single parent has a fundamental right to opt their child out of that test. That corporations are slowly taking over public schools and school districts are powerless to stop it.

He describes her passion for the arts and her passion for authentic teaching, not test-driven teaching.

And he writes:

I will miss you Laurie Howard. I find comfort that you are watching over all of us and I pray that you can impart your wisdom to those who think education is a financial playground. I know Laurie would want me to keep fighting the fight, and I will, the best I can. May you rest in peace my sweet friend.

Posthumously, in recognition of Laurie’s impact on others, and on Kevin’s recommendation, I name Laurie to the Honor Roll of this blog. She would have loved it.