John Hale Assumes New Position as Senior Consultant

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As of January 1, John Hale stepped down from the position of associate executive director and became a senior consultant to the Center. Ever the joker, John said that "in 'semi-retirement' I've reduced my time commitment to the Center from 100% to 99%. But, seriously, as long as I'm healthy I will be working on behalf of the Center and its marvelous network of people from across the country and around the world."

He continued, "I owe so much to Chuck Quigley and my many colleagues that I am forever in their intellectual and emotional debt. I got the chance to work every day with extraordinary people. Al Bell, one of two teachers who served on the development committee for the National Standards for Civics and Government and helped announce the Standards at the U.S. Supreme Court, hit the nail right on the head at one of our state and congressional district coordinators' meetings. Al referred to the privilege of working with 'giants of civic education' like Chuck Quigley, Duane Smith, and Margaret Branson. I felt exactly the same way and, though two of those giants have passed on, I still feel the same way. Their legacy is enduring and their record in the field is unmatched. In part that was because their humility shone through in such ways as always inviting others to share their perspectives and then improving their own work by taking those perspectives into account. Lee Hamilton once said of Chuck that, 'if there was a Hall of Fame for public service, Chuck Quigley would be elected on the first ballot.' I heartily agree. I've been lucky to play as a utility infielder on a team that included Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron."

John also said, "because of the Center I've made friends in every state and in at least 50 countries. And those friends have enriched and continue to enrich my life every day. I'm very glad that I won't have to leave them."

On April 25 and 26, John served as a facilitator for the We the People National Finals Challenge. He had been slated to serve as a staff member for the two-week Presidential and Congressional Academies in Baltimore that have been postponed until 2021. He expects to be in his home state of Maryland for the Academies next year. "I've had opportunities that few have had: working with Duane Smith and Will Harris on at least 17 National Academies; engaging with scholars, teachers, and students in Italy, Ireland, Argentina, Germany, Morocco, Jordan, Indonesia, the Czech Republic and other countries; lending a hand on the National Standards, the CIVITAS model curricular framework, Education for Democracy: California Civic Education Scope & Sequence, and all of the Center's many domestic and international programs; and getting to connect with the wonderful people in the network and, especially, the Center staff. I wouldn't have traded my professional life with anyone else's."

Prior to joining the Center in 1987, John was "Chuck Quigley's boss." John worked at the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1976 to 1985 and had the pleasure of getting to know the Center's work as well as Chuck and Duane while serving as a program officer for the Center's NEH grants. He met the maid of honor at a wedding in Maryland in 1986 and "followed his heart" to Los Angeles, a city he grew to love, "mostly because of her." As a fellowship was expiring in 1987, he found himself in need of a job, and the Center "filled that need and then some. I not only got a job, I got another family." People in the network can expect to see him, said John, "for at least the next 33 years."


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