Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples today remembered William C. Bosher Jr. as a friend, a mentor and an education pioneer who left his mark on the public schools of Virginia. Bosher served as state superintendent from 1994 until 1996 and led the early development of the Standards of Learning reform.
“Bill Bosher was a man of great faith and good cheer,” Staples said. “As an educator and reformer, Bill always put the interests of children first. He believed that public schools have a moral obligation to educate all children to their highest potential and should be held accountable for doing so. Bill leaves behind a legacy of pioneering institutional reform and increased student achievement that marks him as one of the most influential educators of the 20th century.”
Board of Education President Christian Braunlich called Bosher’s death a genuine loss for the children of Virginia. “Bill Bosher stood tall in establishing the standards and accountability system that led to the excellence that today characterizes the commonwealth’s public schools,” Braunlich said. “And he was a presence in the current discussion about K-12 policy whose departure creates a vacuum not easily filled. Bill knew where we started, how we got to where we are today, and he had a vision of where we need to go to continue expanding opportunity for Virginia students.”
Braunlich and Staples expressed their condolences to Bosher’s wife Jo Anne and to their children and extended family.“I know Bill’s former colleagues here at the Virginia Department of Education and educators in school divisions across Virginia have the Bosher family in their thoughts and prayers,” Staples said. “And there are thousands of Bill’s former students who will find time during the coming days to reflect on the positive influence Bill had on their lives and the lives of their classmates.”