Professional Legacy 



Dr. Richard DuFour dedicated his life to helping students succeed. As a trailblazer in education, he impacted the lives of thousands of learners and educators around the world.

In a distinguished career spanning four decades, Rick was a public school educator, serving as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. A prolific author and consultant, he was recognized as one of the leading authorities on helping school practitioners implement the Professional Learning Communities at Work™ process in their schools and districts.

During his 19-years of residency as a Pioneer at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois, Stevenson was one of the three schools in the country to win the United States Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award in four events. Also, the first high school designated a New American High School as a model of effective school change.

On account of his uncommon achievements, Dr DuFour was named as one of the Top 100 School Administrators in North America by Executive Educator magazine and was awarded the Distinguished Scholar-Practitioner Award from the University of Illinois. He was also the 2004 beneficiary of the National Staff Development Council's Distinguished Service Award.

Rick’s legacy now lives on in the lives of all his students and the countless educators he inspired.


in praise of american educators

In Praise of American Educators was written during the first half of Rick’s 2.5 year battle with cancer and is a parting gift to the profession he held so dear. 

Rick DuFour wrote In Praise of American Educators to:

  • Defend and encourage America’s educators by highlighting their unprecedented achievements.
  • Challenge them to do even better with a detailed roadmap for how to do so. 
  • Warn against the catastrophic consequences of students who fail in the 21st century. 
  • Inform the American people about a proven process for school improvement that can be implemented RIGHT NOW in their local districts.  
  • Encourage action from our elected officials towards MEANINGFUL education reform, based on research and facts, rather than opinion and theory. 

*One Dollar from every sale of In Praise goes directly to SU2C.