As an education reporter for 12 years and in my role as editor of the North Countryman and The Burgh, I have been privileged to engage in lengthy discussions with both these educators, and I consistently recognized I was in the presence of knowledgeable professionals passionate about education, especially students, and who have been successful in their careers.
They were consistently open and forthcoming over the years and their actions showed they put students first.
Fred consistently shared with me his thoughts and feelings and always made himself available for stories the public needed to know about, and offered his expertise on educational issue I might have been confused by.
It was always clear he loved the public education system and its students and wanted both to succeed.
I first met Ken when he was a principal, and from day one he made it clear he would be open and it was about the students. He always has been available, consistently calling to share successes and educational issues readers should know about, and he always answered when I called, eager to provide wisdom on educational issues.
But most importantly, both men care about students and understand the important part education plays in so many lives and in a functioning society. They also played a role in the statewide and nationwide recognition their districts have received over the years for academic success.
With ever increasing demands, including the demand to do much, much more with less, the education system is struggling, though thanks to the professionals in the field who care, it continues to thrive.
Sadly, that field is losing two of its professionals, though I know I wish them both happiness and joy in their pursuits, especially after students, educators and the community have enjoyed their public service for so many years.
Stephen Bartlett may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org