Gaynor McCown, executive director of The Teaching Commission passed away early this morning in New York. Along with seemingly inexhaustible energy Gaynor brought a wonderful mix of grace and grit to her life and her work. She will be sorely missed professionally and personally. Among other positions prior to taking the helm at the Teaching Commission, Gaynor worked in the Clinton White House and for Edison Schools. While at first blush those might seem like odd bedfellows, it’s just indicative of how Gaynor was not a slave to orthodoxy, was unafraid to swim against the tide, and stood up for what she thought was right and would benefit others. She did not live nearly long enough but she did live fully and many are better off for her professional efforts and friendship.