Roland Sawyer Barth, educator, sailor, farmer, 84, a product of public elementary school in Miami, Fla., and a one-room schoolhouse in Alna, spent his career as a teacher, principal, professor, consultant, and author, working tirelessly to improve public education and foster communities of lifelong learning. He passed away peacefully on Sept. 12, 2021, in Maine surrounded by his family.
Mr. Barth was born in 1937 in Newton, Mass., to The Rev. Joseph Nicholas Barth and Ramona Sawyer Barth. He lived in Florida, Maine, and Massachusetts, where his passion for saltwater sailing, farming, and learning deeply touched all who knew him.
Mr. Barth served on the faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he focused on school leadership, development of educators, and founded the Principals’ Center and the International Network of Principals’ Centers.
Mr. Barth was the author of seven books, including “Learning by Heart” (2001), “Improving Schools from Within” (1990), and “Run School Run” (1980).
Roland leaves behind his wife, Barbara Bauman; daughters, Joanna Barth and Carolyn Barth Renzin and her husband Lee; two grandchildren; and scores of dear friends and family. In his wake, educators and students worldwide will forever draw on his wisdom to improve learning.
Donations in Roland’s honor may be made to the Midcoast Conservancy, an organization dedicated to preserving his cherished Maine lands at P.O. Box 439 Edgecomb, ME 04556 (midcoastconservancy.org); to Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound, an organization having an increasing impact on improvement of public schools at EL Education, Attn: Emily Pentz, 7 N Pleasant St., 3rd Floor, Amherst, MA 01002 (eleducation.org); and to the Susmann House, whose hospice nurses cared for him and his family with heart-filled compassion and where he finally found peace at Sussman House Volunteer Fund, 40 Anchor Drive, Rockport, ME 04856.
Arrangements are under the directions and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St., Damariscotta. Condolences, and messages for his family, may be expressed by visiting stronghancock.com.