John Linton: Launching an Industry

Posted on May 10, 2012


I’m lucky to work in an industry and with a company that has a powerful, tangible impact on the world. Though education has always been important to me, it wasn’t always been my plan to work in it. I began my career in sales, and didn’t get the opportunity to move into education until my parents, b0th public school teachers, and with house full of children, did something truly remarkable: they quit their jobs and started a business.

What began with a couple of passionate educators and few hundred dollars soon became the Video Journal of Education, and now, 20 years later, is the company I run, School Improvement Network, with almost 200 employees, and a community of over 800,000 teachers. I look back and am still amazed at my mom and dad. As much life as they’d lived, and as many responsibilities as they had, they took a BIG risk on something they believed in, and launched not just a company, but an entire industry from their living room. If we’re talking about audacious innovators in education, there are few who stack up to my parents.

But it’s their story, not mine, so rather than tell it, I’ll let them do the talking. This is John Linton, my father, describing his first job as a teacher, and a year that changed our family’s life forever.

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