MacLean James: Lutz will be greatly missed

Published 12:56 am Monday, November 9, 2020

He’s a real good guy.” You hear it a lot. But, in the case of St. Joseph High School teacher John Lutz, it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.

I didn’t know him best, and I sure didn’t know him longest. But the 15 years I did spend knowing him was enough to see exactly who he was.

John was fair, kind, intelligent, and unbelievably humble.

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He was an English teacher in theory, but a life coach in practice. He inspired hundreds of students to care a lot less about what was expected of them, and a lot more about what they should expect of themselves.

We spent some English classes studying Beatles lyrics as poetry and interpreting Harry Potter like classical fiction.

Other days, we would play guitar the whole time instead of even picking up a book at all. Little did we know that these were the days we were learning the most.

There’s so much more to say and never enough time to say it.

John Lutz will be dearly missed. He was a real good guy.

MacLean James, a Lawrence County musician, lover of Appalachia, and administrative assistant for the Ironton Tribune, can be reached at