Retirement Tribute                              Online Exclusive


‘Cajole and Conquer’ 



Darrell Rud

In my more than 25 years of lobbying and advocacy for public education, I thought it rare but pleasantly surprising to find an individual with both the personal and professional attributes such as those possessed by AASA’s Bruce Hunter. Many have one of these important traits but those who possess both the interpersonal and the technical/lobbying skills needed for this important work on behalf of America’s public school students and school district leaders are few and far between.

Bruce can “cajole and conquer” even the most difficult of bureaucrats, politicians and congressional staff members. I’ve witnessed these effective "schmoozing” tactics on multiple occasions, most notably during AASA's federal advocacy conferences when Bruce would debrief us while keeping congressional representatives and their staff members on their toes with his pointed questions.

His in-depth knowledge and highly effective processes honed over time have made him one of the elite and effective spokespersons for public education in our nation. While no one is irreplaceable, not only AASA will struggle with his loss due to retirement, but the students and educators across our nation will be losing one of their best warriors and advocates.

It has been my privilege to call Bruce Hunter my cohort in public education advocacy and, perhaps even more importantly, my friend!

Darrell Rud is the retired executive director of School Administrators of Montana in Helena, Mont. E-mail: rud.darrell@cox.net



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