Shawn Michael Hurwitz
July 1965 - October 2015
Shawn Hurwitz tragically passed away in October, but his legacy at KIPP, locally, nationally, and even internationally, will never be forgotten. As noted by others, “Few people have touched more lives with their warmth, authentic personality, genuine concern for others, and extraordinary generosity than Shawn. He embodied everything good, everything fun – he was always busy living every day of his life.”
On February 8, 2016, Shawn’s family and friends gathered at the KIPP Houston Southwest campus for a tree-planting ceremony to honor Shawn Hurwitz’s life and legacy. Additionally, trees will be planted on all nine KIPP Houston campuses.
The beautiful, slightly chilly morning began with 12th grade students from KIPP Houston High School singing “As” by Stevie Wonder. Soon after, 8th grade students from KIPP Academy read “Freedom’s Plow” by Langston Hughes. Shawn kept his hand on the plow and now more than 70,000 students across the country have the opportunity to plow on. The ceremony also honored Shawn’s legacy with a beautiful book reading of The Polar Express by Superintendent Sehba Ali and poignant words by KIPP Co-Founder and close friend of Shawn’s, Mike Feinberg.
In the final moments before the tree was ceremonially planted, the 4th grade class from KIPP SHINE Prep sang “A Bird without Wings.” This powerful song moved everyone present. The KIPPsters singing these words never met Shawn, but they knew they were honoring someone special. These students knew they needed to stand tall and sing the words for his family and friends to show the power of his legacy.
Thank you, Shawn. Thank you for believing.