Photo of Ned Kirsch
Norman (Ned) Kirsch

The Franklin West Supervisory Union unexpectedly lost our Superintendent, Ned Kirsch on April 10.  We are deeply saddened by this loss and our hearts go out to Ned’s family, friends, and colleagues.  He was a remarkable person that made a profound impact on public education.

Essex – Norman (Ned) Kirsch , passed away on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. He was born to Charles and Anne (Schwartz) Kirsch in Southampton, NY. Ned was a 1984 graduate of Westhampton Beach High School, Westhampton Beach, NY. In 1988, he graduated from the University of Maine and continued his studies at The Vermont Law School where he received his Masters of Studies in Environmental Law (MSL) and his Juris Doctorate of Law. At The University of Vermont he furthered his commitment to education and earned his Certification of Advanced Study on in Educational Leadership.

Ned made a tremendous impact on education, serving as principal for the Milton Town School District, the Essex Town School District, and as a Superintendent of the Franklin West Supervisory Union. He was recognized as Vermont Principal of the Year for his leadership at Essex Middle School. He was a strong advocate for the physical, social, emotional and educational well-being of all learners. Ned was often and preferably in classrooms engaging with students about their learning. He always encouraged people to collaboratively move forward in the ever changing educational climate. As an innovator for change, he advocated for technology and was instrumental in championing ways to make the global environment accessible for students in rural Vermont.

Leadership qualities were evident early in Ned’s life as he earned the rank of Eagle Scout. In 2011, the Vermont Chapter awarded Ned the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit for using CPR to sustain the life of his eldest brother. Ned’s vision for education, as well as life, was always evolving. He was an active participant on multiple organizational boards and committees at the local, state and national levels.

Ned loved the mountains of Vermont and the beaches of Westhampton. He was an avid skier, creative cook, and world traveler. Among his passions were sports, politics, personal and professional beliefs, reading, storytelling and any and all traditions. Ned loved letting go in the garden, kicking back with music, family, friends, and pets. His infectious smile, humor, laughter, and quick, witty ways brought energy to any room or space. Ned’s dynamic personality radiated confidence. He nurtured and inspired others to grow and never give up. He was dedicated to being a responsible and affectionate provider for his family. His most treasured roles in life were as husband, dad, son, brother, uncle, and friend.

Ned was predeceased by his father Charles Kirsch and his brother and sister in law, Jeffrey and Nancy Kirsch. He is survived by his wife Coree (Greenbaum) Kirsch of 23 years, and his beautiful children, Abigail (Abby), and Colby and his favorite dog, Addison. He is also survived by his mother Anne (Schwartz) Kirsch of Westhampton Beach, NY, brother David (Joan) Kirsch of Essex, CT and his sister Pam (Mike) Magnan of Bethlehem, PA, in laws Art and Sue Greenbaum, sister in law Kari Greenbaum and Kaija Johnson and nephews DJ Kirsch, Riley Kirsch, Jacob Magnan, Samuel Magnan, and niece Molly Magnan.

There will be a Celebration of Life in Ned’s honor on Saturday, June 1, 2019. Location to be announced on

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in loving memory of Ned can be made to: Essex Rescue, Inc., 1 Educational Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

We thank first responders and professional providers for helping us navigate this difficult time. Our deepest gratitude is extended to family, friends, colleagues the community and all those that new Ned. Your love, comfort and caring ways continue to give us strength.

Ned, you will always be missed but with us forever in our healing hearts. Go Mets! Go Jets! “R-E-L-A-X, relax”

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Apr. 21, 2019

Thomas Walsh is currently Principal of BFA Fairfax Elementary School and is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY. You can follow him on Twitter @educatamount

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