Editor's Note (The View From Here)

2017 Brings Change Nationally and at SP&M

As this year comes to an end and a new year is about to start, we look ahead with hope and anticipation for what will be coming our way. In January, we will have a new President in the White House with new ideas about how to improve our K-12 education system and make higher education easier to access and pay for. A new secretary of education will be named. Funding and “choice” will headline the ensuing debate. Change is happening everywhere.

Here at the SP&M, Paul Abramson is writing his final column for us in this December issue. It is not often that I’ve encountered people with the vision, integrity and passion that has marked Paul’s career… a career that has spanned more than 60 years in education as a planner and demographer for school districts and colleges, as a researcher, a writer, magazine editor and communicator, and as an advocate for students. His in-depth knowledge of the industry, his analytical ability, and his personal resolve, has led him to identify trends, research and develop new methods, and formulate better ways to get the job done — improving schools and the profession as a whole.

During his professional career, Paul served as a consultant to the Educational Facilities Laboratory (EFL), a Ford Foundation-funded project that engaged in research of school buildings, construction materials and systems, and good school planning strategies. He also served as president of Stanton Leggett Educational Consultants, which for many years has been one of a few private firms specializing in educational facility planning, working with school districts and the designers of schools. In 2008, Paul was named “Planner of the Year” by the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (now known as the Association for the Learning Environment) and in 2011, he became a CEFPI Fellow.

Paul has been the Education Industry Analyst for School Planning & Management and College Planning & Management magazines, a columnist and the author of our annual studies on school and college construction. He has been a mentor and advisor to many in the profession. I, personally, have known Paul for nearly 35 years, and watched him work tirelessly to promote the creative and responsible planning of educational facilities so that every student will have a healthy, safe environment in which to learn. We wish him well and want him to know that he has been appreciated and will be missed!

This article originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of School Planning & Management.

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