We are devastated to share that last Saturday, Bellwether teammate Aurelia Twitty died unexpectedly at 52.
Aurelia embodied the best of Bellwether. She joined the team in 2016 as an executive assistant, was promoted to office manager, and ultimately grew her role into our first-ever administrative manager. Her influence and reach extended across the entire organization through the team of administrative professionals she led and projects she worked on. Aurelia was often the first person new team members worked with as they onboarded.
She was a beloved teammate, always ready with help, advice, or a kind word. Her discipline and no-nonsense style was leavened with grace and wisdom. Aurelia was instrumental in shaping Bellwether’s approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion — leading workshops and infusing conversations with her thoughtful perspective. She won our “Honey Badger” award in 2017, given annually to Bellwether’s MVP, in recognition of her many contributions.
Aurelia lived life unabashedly. She was a learner with deep curiosity about others, their lives, and points of view. And she was fun — dancing whenever the spirit moved her, full of light, warmth, and laughter.
Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Warwick, New York, Aurelia was an accomplished collegiate track athlete. That drive continued. Over the years, she trained for road races and was starting to cycle. She died this past Saturday while running in the Selma to Montgomery Relay and Bike Ride, a race she was especially excited to run given its symbolism, alignment with her beliefs, and the people she would meet.
Aurelia lived out our mission professionally and personally. She was an active education volunteer in the Washington, D.C. area, a trustee of a public charter school, and a devoted foster parent. Aurelia discussed her foster care work in The 74 and described some of her community volunteer work in this 2017 interview.
She loved her family, lighting up when talking about her husband, Anthony, her three children, and her seven (soon-to-be eight) grandchildren. We offer them our condolences and support.
Aurelia leaves a rich and lasting legacy at Bellwether. More than that, she touched a multitude of people beyond her immediate circles. Some people create ripples of positivity and change lives far beyond their own. She was one.
We miss her so much.
Mary K. Wells & Andy Rotherham
Co-founders, Bellwether Education