Denny Shapiro, Minneapolis School Board 2002-2005, died of a heart attack Tuesday, May 13, 2014.


This is a hard loss for Minneapolis and for the larger educational and national Montessori movement, especially the Public School Montessori movement, as well as for me personally.
I had known Denny for decades and he was one of the kindest, most dedicated and giving people I know. When he was on the school board he also served on the Youth Coordinating Board and was a powerful advocate for youth and for good planning for real results. I also had the good fortune of teaching one of his kids, working with Denny as a fellow parent to help develop and improve the Montessori program in Minneapolis when we both had kids in the program and to work for him as an assistant editor of the monthly paper he published, Public School Montessorian. His paper and all his work nationally supporting public Montessori schools from that perspective brought lasting benefits to scores and scores of teachers, parents, principals, administrators and students.
In addition to his professional and larger civic work, Denny gave to his community in many quiet ways. As his kids got older he always found time to personally help young people. He was a Big Brother (in the Big Brother, Big Sister Program), and he was a Guardian ad Litem for Minneapolis youngsters caught up in the court system.
He was a mentor, a colleague, a Minneapolis treasure and a great example of a decent, kind, caring and good man.
I am really going to miss him.

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