Dr. Jonathan Lovell, director of the San Jose Area Writing Project, is an educational leader who believes in writing, in good teaching, and in the power of allowing teachers the respect and voice to present their expertise. Certainly his clear, thoughtful perception of what’s really important in a situation is a mark of his leadership. Jonathan manages his emotions and when he speaks it is from a rich, keen mind and a considerate soul.
Jonathan brings much more than educational expertise to the SJAWP. Every summer institute I watch him patiently listen to what each person wants to talk about with him — which might range from politics to comparing experiences of parent deaths and bereavement. He listens to people, the way an artist or writer listens for an inner voice. His recent health episodes (heart attack several years ago) and current A-fib have further honed Jonathan’s humor and dignity. He seems to be dancing with life, acquainted with the pillings, counting measures under the breath, mindful of the figures as the music plays, casting up, reeling across with a genteel smile. Yes, he’s a Scottish country dancer, too.
And once again, this summer I have the privilege of co-directing an intensive summer institute with Jonathan.