After the trip to Colorado for two weddings, we returned home to a series of sad events.
When I served on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, I became good friends with science teacher Mauro Diaz from Casper, Wyoming. We would meet the night before each meeting, go for a long walk, and have dinner and a good conversation. Mauro and I also took his two oldest sons hiking for three days in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana. Near the end of the wedding trip, we learned that Mauro and his youngest son Mateo, had died in a head-on car crash near Thermopolis, Wyoming.
A few days later, we learned that Kelly Fulton, a teacher at Bozeman High School in Montana had been killed while riding his bike to school. I had worked with Kelly when he was a runner for Billings Senior High School. He later ran for St. Olaf College in Minnesota. We had kept in touch as he road his bike across the country, taught English in China, and began his teaching career.
A day or two later, we found out that Joe Cross, the principal who hired me to work at Billings Senior High School, had passed away. I had a lot of respect for Joe as a principal and as a person.
Any one of these deaths would have set us back, but to try to process all four of them at once has been a serious challenge. We are left with powerful memories of each of these wonderful people.
Photo by John Jancik
Dr. Steve Gardiner is the author of eight books and over 1,000 articles.