Friday, July 13, 2007

Another loss for the school community

This week's Town Crier has an obituary for Ken Green, who collapsed at home two weeks ago. It is the first one I've seen, and it has been sad to see so little coverage of the life of my advanced biology teacher.

Principal Wynne Satterwhite's comments about him are right on:
Satterwhite described Mr. Green as "very student centered," a big guy with a full beard who appeared gruff on the outside, but was "a teddy bear on the inside."

Mr. Green "always made time for kids," Satterwhite said. She recalled Mr. Green's helping a young man who "people pretty much gave up on" this past school year.
He was fairly reserved around his students, though he never minced words when he thought they weren't performing to your ability or putting forth full effort. He clearly cared very deeply about their development as people. When I was still in college and spending my summers coaching at the high school, he was the first and only one of my former teachers to insist that I call him by his first name. He told me that I had graduated and was therefore now an adult. I told him that I couldn't quite bring myself to do that, so he agreed I could call him "coach" until I was ready.

The only time I ever saw him show much emotion was earlier this year when he spoke at Will Sigua's service. I think, in part, he was moved by the sheer numbers of people who had come out to celebrate Will together. It reminded me of my other favorite memory of him from high school -- gruffly telling Will's older brother Jon and me that, a year after our graduation, we would be lucky to still be friends with five of our high school classmates, and that five years later, we would only be friends with one. I mentioned that to him, telling him I had never been happier to prove someone wrong.

1 comment:

jocelyn said...

Man - I loved that guy. I'm so sorry to hear the news...he had such a wonderful attitude, both sunny and sardonic...perfect for high school kids.