Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Larry McBiles, 1956-2011

Word has only circulated widely in the past few days that Dr. James "Larry" McBiles died on March 6. There was a memorial service today in Phoenix. Larry was a prominent educator and particularly well known in mining and geologic circles for his leadership of the Arizona Foundation for Resource Education (AFRE).

His obituary is posted on a number of newspapers around the state with the one at the Arizona Republic has drawn a large number of tributes and remembrances.

His obituary also notes that "Larry transitioned from teacher to district administrator to the position of Deputy Associate Superintendent of the Arizona Department of Education. Following his keen interest in science, Larry next took on the role of Director of Education with the Arizona Mining Association where he received the 2005 Medal of Merit by the American Mining Hall of Fame."

Donations in his memory may be made to the Center for Teacher Success, 141 East Palm Lane, Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ 85004 in support of Larry's lifelong work to provide professional development support and services to educators across the state.


  1. Anonymous9:21 AM

    Larry used to say that one of life's "Big Understandings" is that "It all begins with geology!" So many K-12 educators and their students in Arizona benefited from his enthusiasm for science and insistence on excellent teaching practices. As a native of Ajo and a multi-generational Arizona mining family, Larry was a great ambassador for both the importance of mining and the professional development of Arizona's educators. He will be missed. -- Mary Graf, Phoenix

  2. Anonymous3:22 PM

    I would just like to add to Dr. Graf's comments - I miss Larry horribly! He was a mentor to me, even though I was 15 years his senior. He was a dear friend, and there isn't a week that goes by that I don't think of him and wish I could have spent more time with him! Dr. Kay Dean