NORWALK, Conn. -- Ronald D. Thorpe Jr., 63, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and lifelong education advocate, died July 1 at home in Norwalk after a year-long battle with lung cancer.
Thorpe spent nearly 40 years tenaciously pursuing his belief in the power and necessity of excellent educators. His storied career began in 1974 when he became a teaching fellow in Latin and Greek at Phillips Academy Andover in Massachusetts. He later served as the dean of faculty and chief academic officer at Kingswood-Oxford School, as a foundation executive at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Rhode Island Foundation and Wallace Foundation and in the not-for-profit world at WNET, where he was the vice president for education.
Most recently, Thorpe served as president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, an organization that provides national, voluntary certification of teachers who meet the rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.
Thorpe grew up in Carlisle, Pa., and attended the public schools there. He graduated from Harvard, where he majored in classics, and earned both his master’s and doctorate degrees at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Thorpe was pre-deceased by his mother, Audrey Eppley Thorpe and his brother, Christopher Thorpe.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret Honey; daughter, Katherine Kerr and son-in-law, Terrance Kerr; stepson, John Honey-Fitzgerald; father, Ronald Thorpe, Sr. and step-mother, Deborah Thorpe; brother, William Thorpe; nephews, Christopher and Daniel Thorpe, and Zach Thompson; sisters-in-law Judy Prescott and Donna Thompson; and step-sister Anne Walizer and her husband Stephen.
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