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In Memory of Robert "Bob" Hanson

On August 21, 2022—over fifty years after founding National Professional Resources—our beloved founder and leader, Robert (Bob) Hanson, passed away surrounded by family in Carmel, NY.

NPR, Inc. - Helene and Robert Hanson

(Bob and Helene Hanson)

Born in a little farmhouse in rural North Dakota, Bob’s adventurous spirit was manifest early as he entered the Air Force, where he spent two years.  Energized by the spirit of wanderlust, he moved to Denver and then to Reno, where he completed his education to be a classroom teacher. It was there that his commitment to students with special needs began—an interest and passion that he maintained throughout his entire life. He then took a year and taught in Germany through the Department of Defense Dependent School Program. 

In the early 1960s, Bob was awarded a HEW grant by the US government, which supported his coursework that culminated in an Ed.D. in educational administration from Syracuse University. From there, he was recruited by the Southern Westchester BOCES. It was at BOCES, where he was serving as Director of Special Education, that he met his wife, Helene, in 1971. After a few years of marriage filled with traveling and adventures, they had two daughters, Angela and Lisa.

During his years in school administration, Bob began to respond to another interest: supporting and enhancing the skills of special education teachers. National Professional Resources, which he founded and incorporated in 1968, originally published professional newsletters for the special education community. However, it was following his retirement from the public sector in the 1980s that Bob tapped into his entrepreneurial spirit with gusto to launch National Professional Resources (NPR, Inc.) as a successful education publishing company.

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(Bob with Joe Casbarro and Marilyn Friend at CEC conference) 

By the late 1980s, NPR, Inc. was publishing books and producing videos to serve as staff training resources.  Bob took film crews to major universities like Harvard, Yale, University of Chicago, and Stamford to videotape leaders who pioneered groundbreaking educational theories. Then, he and the film crews went to schools to capture classroom footage that showed these various theories and approaches in practice.

In addition to publishing books, National Professional Resources began publishing quick-reference laminated reference guides in 2007, and he added the Comprehensive School Solutions (CSS) training division in 2016. NPR, Inc. has sponsored educational conferences, won awards for its videos, exhibited its products at national and state conferences, and is considered one of the most respected professional development companies for educators in the nation. 

Throughout all these years, Bob was the prime mover and creative force behind NPR, Inc. He was a "futurist."  Due to his prolific ability to read every educational journal and professional newsletter, he would be on the cutting edge of new trends in education as they became the "hot topics" of the day: Multiple Intelligences, Emotional Intelligence, Character Education, Inclusion, Co-Teaching, RTI, and on and on. As soon as a new initiative was beginning to take hold in education, Bob was the first to explore it and produce a video and/or print resource to share it with educators across the country. He also had an uncanny ability to attract the top experts in their respective fields to appear in these NPR videos, including Howard Gardner, Peter Salovey, Dan Goleman, Linda Darling-Hammond, Ted Sizer, Alphie Cohen, as well as many, many others. Bob also formed a strong alliance with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), which led their professional development organization to not only carry National Professional Resources' products, but also co-publish titles with NPR, Inc. In 2019, he was awarded special recognition from the CEC for the contributions he made to the field of special education over the course of his lifetime.

NPR, Inc. - Helene and Robert Hanson

(Bob being honored by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) for his lifetime contributions to the field of special education in 2019).

Bob was a very skilled leader who had a passion for professional development, which he saw as the key to successful teaching.  He was willing to take risks, try new and different approaches, while always striving to make NPR a better and more responsive organization. He will be sorely missed, but not forgotten. The company will remain a lasting legacy of his lifelong commitment to the education of students in our country.  May he rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing. 

 

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About National Professional Resources, Inc.

National Professional Resources (NPR, Inc.) has been a leader in the field of education publishing since 1968. Founded and operated by educators with a deep commitment to the success of all learners, our mission is to provide teachers, administrators, and other school staff with quality tools and resources that will better enable them to help every student achieve success. Our signature product is our quick-reference laminated guides—the original laminated guides for educators. Written by some of the most respected leaders in the field, with over 150 titles available, these professional development guides cover current topics and critical issues in education, including inclusion, co-teaching, autism, learning disabilities, social-emotional learning, positive behavior supports, mental health, differentiated instruction, assessment, English learners, differentiated instruction, and more.

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