Lives Fully Lived
In this closing keynote, given at the HGE 2019 Leadership Summit, Higher Ground Education's CEO Ray Girn discusses the most fundamental principle of our organization. If we dig deep—deeper than our educational practices, deeper than our core values, deeper even than our mission, all the way to the very foundation of our worldview—we find a bedrock idea that everything rests upon: that the individual human life fully lived is an end in itself.
Ray Girn received a BSc with honors from the University of Toronto, with a focus on philosophy and neuropsychology, as well an Association Montessori Internationale teaching diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego.
Prior to founding Higher Ground, Girn had a 13-year career with LePort Schools. Working at LePort’s K-8 lab school, he helped lead a team of educators in architecting LePort’s upper school curriculum and program. In 2010, he took over as CEO, expanded the team, and implemented an ambitious growth strategy. In five years, Girn and his team took the company from a small, local family business of three schools to the largest Montessori operator in the United States.
In March 2016, Girn founded Higher Ground Education with the vision of greatly accelerating the growth of Montessori education globally. Higher Ground aims to create a comprehensive international platform to deliver high-quality, high-fidelity Montessori programming everywhere, as well as to conduct the research and development necessary to extend Montessori principles to new, innovative models of secondary education.
- Core Philosophy
The Montessori Multiplier
Everyone learns, constantly, over the course of their lives. What Montessori does is multiply the value of this learning. Done right, school isn't a substitute for life experience, it's a multiplier on it.
Everything is for Everyone
Baldwin on Shakespeare, Montessori on hero worship, and diversity in service of humanism.
- Core Philosophy
Vocational Training for the Soul
For centuries, educators have debated about the purpose of education: Moral vs. practical, liberal arts vs. vocational? Is there a way to transcend these divisions? Is there a way to get a handle on the vocational value of education that integrates its humanistic elements, rather than downplaying or siloing them? There is, and it starts by noticing that there is something quite amiss with the moral/practical divide in how it plays out in the adult lives of students.