Losing a respected and beloved colleague is always hard. Losing two such individuals within days of each other is unnerving and heart-wrenching.
Sylvie Hale was one of WestEd’s most veteran staff members, having joined the organization in October 1988. Matt Gaertner was much newer, joining the agency in January 2018. Each in their own way was part of the fabric of WestEd, and our appreciation for them is boundless. Their unexpected, and unrelated, deaths have left us reeling.
Sylvie and Matt will be missed as dedicated, highly knowledgeable, and creative colleagues, both of whom could be counted on to lighten the load with their senses of humor. Not surprisingly, for many at WestEd and many of our partners in the field, these remarkable individuals will also be missed as dear friends. Finally, they will be missed by all of us for their significant past contributions to the field, and for the wisdom they had yet to share.