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Learning and the Public Good

Student at a desk

 

John Fallon, CEO of Pearson, meets senior Ronald Francois at Boston International High School on Thursday, April 7, 2016 in Boston, Mass. Ronald hopes to pursue a career in engineering. (Scott Eisen/AP Images for Pearson Publishing)
John Fallon, center, CEO of Pearson, and Don Kilburn, left, President of Pearson North America, meet senior Ronald Francois at Boston International High School on Thursday, April 7, 2016 in Boston, Mass. Ronald hopes to pursue a career in engineering. (Scott Eisen/AP Images for Pearson Publishing)

 

The Legacy of an Education That Changed Lives

Don Kilburn's father came home from World War II a disabled veteran. Through the GI Bill, he was able to earn a degree at the University of Georgia by taking classes at night.

"Education—and education changing lives," Don says, "was big in my family."

 

Don Kilburn, Pearson North America President speaks with Tony King, Headmaster of Boston International High School in a 12th grade English class at Boston International High School on Thursday, April 7, 2016 in Boston, Mass. Under a grant provided by Pearson and America's Promise Alliance the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is working with ten school districts including Boston to improve graduation rates and outcomes for students whose first language is not English. (Scott Eisen/AP Images for Pearson Publishing)
Don Kilburn, Pearson North America President speaks with Tony King, Headmaster of Boston International High School in a 12th grade English class at Boston International High School on Thursday, April 7, 2016 in Boston, Mass. Under a grant provided by Pearson and America's Promise Alliance the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is working with ten school districts including Boston to improve graduation rates and outcomes for students whose first language is not English. (Scott Eisen/AP Images for Pearson Publishing)

 

The 'Reality Check' of Working Alongside Educators

Don is President of Pearson North America.

"I feel like my work with Pearson is more following than it is leading," he says. "So many educators enter our business who once made a difference in the classroom, and now want to make a bigger difference at scale."

"These colleagues care deeply about education," Don says, "and I draw energy off that every day."

The Learning Struggles of Don's Own Son

One of Don's two children has tested on the dyslexia spectrum and, before it was diagnosed, said things like 'I'm dumb and I'm stupid.'

"He's not," Don says. "It happened to be a Pearson test that helped us assess, then remediate, his struggles in school. Now he's thriving."

"When Pearson can help with changes like that," Don says, "that's why working for this company is such a great thing to be involved in."

Doing Well By Doing Good

After a recent visit to Boston International High School and a tour of its innovative curriculum, Don sat down to talk about Pearson's ongoing mission to help change many more lives.