It is with deep sadness that I mourn the loss of my dear friend and frequent co-author, Dr. Rick Curwin. He passed away Wednesday, December 26, 2018 after a short but valiant struggle from a respiratory illness. Rick will rightly be remembered as a true giant in the field, having helped tens of thousands of educators around the world realize how discipline is best achieved by teaching, relating and caring rather than punishing, threatening and rewarding.  His ground-breaking contributions to the field of education cannot be overstated as they have led to positive changes in how teachers relate to students that early on were sometimes viewed as weird and unrealistic but have since become mainstream.  Several times during our often intertwined careers, I witnessed educators at conferences and schools years after having read one or more of his books or attend a seminar or course thank him for the life altering impact his work had had on their lives. The educational community has truly lost a leading voice for the importance of valuing all students, no matter how difficult, one if its most creative thinkers and a man of utmost integrity who always valued principle over personal gain.  Personally, it was of great fortune to me that as a young man he saw talent in me long before I saw it in myself and invited me to write a book with him.  Already a successful author and university professor it was his mentoring, feedback, patience and leadership that made it happen. Although that book was never published, it set the stage for a professional relationship that produced numerous other publications including all editions of Discipline with Dignity along with speaking invitations, but more importantly it cemented a deep personal love that I will always treasure.

Those who knew Rick understood that he was truly one of a kind: authentic, compassionate, straight-forward, accepting, peace-loving, eccentric and wonderfully quirky.  Always an optimist capable of seeing and responding to the best in people, his short time on this earth made the people and places he touched better for his presence.  Rick Curwin, rest in peace. I love you. I will miss you and I thank you for many years of close friendship and professional contribution.

 

Allen Mendler

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