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Remembering Rick

School Board President Dr. Rick Madore died on January 18th at the age of 51.  Those of you who know us, knew that Rick and I didn’t start off well.  Because of Rick that didn’t last long. Rick had a way of drawing people back in; engaging folks who didn’t agree with him.  I was one of those folks.  Our relationship thawed over the Summer of 2008, because his wonderful daughter McKenzie was my children’s swim coach.  I got to know Rick and Patty in a way that you can’t during the heat of a campaign.

Over the next year, Rick pulled me in on the District Wide Facilities Master Plan.  At the first meeting, I told him that I thought engaging me was a magnanimous move on his part.  He told me that despite the fact that we might not agree on everything, he thought I was a reasonable person and I had much to contribute to the process.  That as I came to learn “was Rick.”

After the election, no one made me feel more welcome on the board than Rick did.  Rick took the time to explain things to Penni and me, suggested some reading material, and encouraged me to enroll in the PSBA Quick Start program.  In his last note to me he quoted St. Francis, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

My heart goes out to his wife Patty and his children. I will remember Rick for his kindness, his understanding, and his forgiveness.  I will miss his smile and the, “Hey, Boss!” greeting.  Most of all, I will remember him by trying to follow his example.