Elliott Galloway (1920 – 2008)

A few hours ago, my brother called me and told me that someone he knew from Galloway had just informed him that Mr. Galloway, the founder and headmaster emeritus of my high school alma mater, The Galloway School, had died.  He asked me if I had heard anything and if I could verify this information.  While local Atlanta news and Google searches proved fruitless, seeing the status messages and notes on the Galloway School Facebook page corroborated the story.  I sadly called my brother back and told him that I believed it was true.

That probably seems like a silly story to an outside observer; a tale of Web 2.0 communication and inter-personal relationships in the digital age.  But to me, it speaks to how students and alumni of The Galloway School hold together as a community.  We all came together because we went to the same school; we stay together because of what we learned there.  When you truly believe in that motto to “Play the game of learning and not the game of school,” then it’s not about competing with your fellow students over who has the highest GPA and who’s going to which college.  When no one is allowed to get cut from any team or any theatre production, then it’s about being part of a team rather than creating a hierarchy and separating people into groups.  This community exists because Mr. Galloway had an idea for a different kind of school and a different approach to learning.  For all the amazing people I’ve met through Galloway, I would say it works pretty well.  It’s a community that whole-heartedly believes in the creed of “Behave yourself and try,” and laughs together at the school’s other rule: “Always wear shoes.”

I don’t know if it seems callous or even appropriate to share my thoughts on Mr. Galloway’s passing on my blog.  I never knew him personally.  For me, he was a symbol and his school was a gift that I’ll treasure throughout my life.  It’s painful to think that future students of Galloway will only know him as the name on the school and a couple of paragraphs in a pamphlet.  Despite retiring as headmaster many years ago, Mr. Galloway was never an abstract in the Galloway community.  He came to the musicals and he was still running in Elliott’s Run.  The man was 87 years old and still running marathons.  I just got winded typing the word “marathon”.  That would be embarrassing if it weren’t so inspirational.

My thoughts and the thoughts of the many lives he and his school touched are with his family tonight.  Rest In Peace, Sir.

Sunday, July 6th, 2008 brilliant, personal

6 Comments to Elliott Galloway (1920 – 2008)

Galloway Alum Mom
July 6, 2008

Matt, Mr. G would be so proud to read these wonderfully eloquent words, because they illustrate that you truly learned and are putting into practice his life philosophy, “Play the game of learning…”. Our family shares the sadness and enormous loss felt throughout the greater Galloway community (students, faculty, administrators and alumni and alum parents). Men don’t come greater that Mr. Galloway.

— An alum mom (sons in Classes of 2005 and 2008) in Atlanta

July 6, 2008

Well said….

elliott galloway
July 7, 2008

[…] Matt. A few hours ago, my brother called me and told me that someone he knew from galloway had …http://goldbergblog.com/2008/07/06/elliott-galloway-1920-2008/www.shawhan.com/families/&ltb&gtgalloway&lt/b&gtt.rtf… elliott helped establish and from which […]

Anita Bradford Monroe
July 7, 2008

Mr. Galloway was my mentor. I was one of the teachers in the early days of his school. I was also in personal trouble. I would not have made myself into a successful person had it not been for his guidance and counseling. He was the finest person I’ve ever known. I will always love him and miss him.

Anita Bradford Monroe

Fran Galloway
July 8, 2008


Your words moved me so much I had to respond. As I mourn my father’s passing, I will also mourn that my Dad won’t have the honor of reading your profound testimonial. More than any other summation of his educational philosophy that I have read so far, (including his own words), you have truly captured his heart. And his earnest hope to have built an accepting and empowering learning community for ALL students.

Thanks so much,

Fran Galloway

Meribeth Fell
July 28, 2008

Matt, your words brought me to tears and remind me, as a former Galloway teacher, how special the students at Galloway were. His dream continues through you and others like you.

Meribeth Fell

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