Two Reluctant Farewells

It’s a sad week for American Fork. We lost two icons — one you probably know, another you might not.

Happily, they didn’t die. One retired, and the other resigned to pursue other opportunities.

Both have been public employees. Both have distinguished themselves in their professions. I have had the honor of knowing and working with both.

Yesterday, after 30 years as American Fork High School’s Director of Bands, Mr. John Miller┬áconducted his last performance in that position, when the AFHS Wind Symphony played at commencement. Much praise has been heaped on him this year, whether he liked it or not, and he deserves all of it.

Wednesday was Chief Lance Call‘s last day at the head of the American Fork Police Department, after ten superb, understated years. He leaves more quietly, deserving but not wanting a lot more praise than he’ll get.

The two are very much alike. Both prefer to stand back and let others — staff or students — shine. Both have my gratitude and my admiration.

A Tale of Two Teachers, Part 2: They Got It Right

After a personal introduction last time, I promised we would speak of Hadleyburg (not its real name), and so we shall.

Last year, about this time, the administrators at Hadleyburg Valley High School (HVHS) needed to find a new math teacher for the coming (now the current) academic year. They didn’t just post the job, then sit back and wait for whatever applications might come in. Their commitment to their students and to academic excellence demanded more. They went out looking for the right candidate.

They found a teacher who was highly regarded not only for his mastery of math and math curricula and his creative command of the teacher’s art, but also for his diligence and his care for each student. They persuaded him to leave his comfortable position in the big city, move his family to Hadleyburg, and take the job.