White built a legacy that will stand forever

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 1, 2004

Tribune editorial board

A Chinese proverb aptly tells the story of Wayne White: A teacher for a day is a father for a lifetime.

With that measuring stick, White was father to thousands of Lawrence County students.

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White, a longtime educator in the area, died Thursday of a sudden heart attack.

As a man, White was a husband, father and grandfather. As an educator, his resume was long, distinguished, and more important, well respected by his peers.

For more than 30 years, White served as an educator in the Symmes Valley and Dawson-Bryant school districts.

During that time, he taught a variety of subjects ranging from mathematics and history to science and basketball.

White's purpose was, according to those who worked alongside him for years, singular and pure. He devoted his life to education because he cared about the youth of our county and region.

White understood that children from rural backgrounds deserved the same quality of education that students from much larger communities received.

He was not afraid to be a pioneer of sorts as one of the first educators to take on those challenges head on. Taking his mission to the legislators, White wasn't the sort of person who simply saw a problem and wondered when something would be done to resolve the issue. White took action and made things happen.

Quick to brush off praise as someone else's, White deserved all of the kind things his friends and co-workers said about him.

And, indeed, many of those who knew the man are quick to line up and explain why he was such a great man.

But perhaps more important than hearing kind words is seeing the impact White's life had on the thousands of students he touched.

We suspect White is, this very moment, looking down upon his life's work. He'd probably say someone else deserves the credit.

We know better. Thank you, Wayne White, for giving your time to our students and being the "father" to thousands.