Barbara Dreyer, Our Teacher


It is with heavy hearts that we share news of the passing of Connections Education’s CEO and Co-founder, Barbara Dreyer, on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. An inspirational and energetic leader and natural teacher, Barbara openly shared news of her battle with cancer with the hopes of encouraging others to “keep fighting.” The Connections Education family grieves her loss, but carries on with even more resolve to further Barbara’s vision to be the highest quality provider of virtual education solutions for students in grades K–12.

Thank you for your generous and touching tributes. Many of you have inquired about ways in which you can pay your respects. More information may be found here.

Here are just a few of the kind words circulating the virtual landscape that Barbara helped shape:

"We’re going to miss Barbara deeply, but her spirit and her values – her call to always strive for more and better – live on in her 3,000 Connections colleagues and in every one of us (inside and outside Pearson) who had the great privilege of working with her. But, most of all, in her students and all the great things they’ll go on to achieve in their lives, because of the better educational opportunities that Barbara drove to give them." Read more.
– John Fallon, Chief Executive of Pearson

"Barbara’s legacy will forever remind us of what has gone right. With her innovative vision for schooling and entrepreneurial spirit, she paved the way for online and blended learning in Ohio and for high-quality choices for thousands of students who might otherwise not have them. We at OCCS are forever grateful for that.
– Lenny Schafer, Executive Director of Ohio Council of Community Schools

As CEO of Connections Education, Barbara was unassuming but demanding. She was honest about what was working and what needed to improve... Barbara took the long view. She kept students in the foreground. She distributed leadership. She advanced the sector.”
– Tom VanderArk, Getting Smart

With respect and gratitude for Barbara, reformers – no, revolutionaries – must be inspired by people who led the way so they can do what they are doing today. There is so little time to do so much. Allow the passing of someone great, even if you didn’t know her, to make you work a little harder, buck a little more convention, resist the temptation to hold others to double standards, and acquiesce less because it’s more convenient. We must step on the shoulders, not the feet, of giants like you, Barbara.
– Jeanne Allen, Center for Education Reform