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Re-retirement Re-retirement

by Loyal Interim District Administrator Mark J. Lacke

There have been three unforgettable historic events in my lifetime- -- the Vietnam War in the 1960s/1970s, the 9/11 attacks in D.C. and New York, and this present COVID-19 pandemic.

Our departing seniors have been prepared for adversity; they were born near one of these events and are graduating during another. It is my wish for Loyal graduates, that the rest of their live holds promising opportunities for happiness and success. To say that this has been an interesting year is quite an understatement. We started the school year with an emergency evacuation of the downtown (and school) and end with a “Stay at Home” closure of the whole world. This was not what could be expected when I came to Loyal in July. After talking to your school b o a rd ab o u t working as an interim superintendent, quite a few of my friends and family questioned if my retirement wasn’t working out. Actually, it was just the opposite as my many interests, hobbies and being a grandpa had kept me very happy and busy. Coming to Loyal, though, was intriguing and I missed the excitement that young people add to one’s life. Edgar and Loyal are only 43 miles apart and nearly everything that I had heard about this community and school system over many years has been positive.

After only a few visits I was invigorated while greeting students of all sizes as they get off the buses, trying to understand their explanations of what was going on in the classroom, studying their show/ tell items and viewi n g cl a s s displays. Oh, the elementary lunchroom atmosphere was what I had hoped; a fun time to tease the kindergarteners! A daily slow walk down the MS/ HS hallways brought me right back to teenage life filled with teacher talk, clubs, events, upcoming games and the inevitable rush to the lunch line. The energy of the older students shows great promise for all of us. I truly believe the Loyal schools are filled with solid, caring people in positions that will impact students in the most positive of ways. If ever an adult has doubts about our youth or schools, I invite you to sit in the lunchroom, LMC or lobby while watching the faces of kids. Their faces tell it all -- joy, engaged, hopeful, trusting, curious, excited … all the emotions that you should find desirable.

My Loyal stories are plentiful as the students, staff, parents, community members and Board of Education have been wonderful. The district finances, buildings, administrative leadership, staff, educational plans and climate are in great shape. Yes, there is still much work to do, but why is that a surprise? Every business involving hundreds of people, especially those under the eye of an entire passionate community, have challenges and expectations.

On June 30, I hand the reins over to Mr. Lindner, a respected leader who will always do what’s best for Loyal students! Loyal is a good place to be and its pride continually shows. I thank you for the support and confidence extended toward me, it will be treasured.

Loyal is a good place to be and its pride continually shows.

Mark Lacke