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Former resident disappointed in anti-education attitude

| May 11, 2005 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

My name is Dr. Walter Kemp. I am currently an assistant professor of pathology at the University of Texas Southwestern and an adjunct medical examiner at the Dallas County Medical Examiner's office, and a 1989 graduate of Libby High School. I receive a copy of The Western News and I have followed the story regarding the retirement of Rose Goyen, Kathi Kimberlin and Paula Darko-Hensler.

I am very disappointed to see these teachers refused a very reasonable retirement request, when what they are requesting has been done for others. I do not pretend to know the school board's procedures nor their budget. However, I do know this, without the dedication to students, enthusiasm for teaching, persistence in the face of hardship, devotion to duty, and sacrifice (financial and time) of my teachers in Libby, I would not be where I am today.

I practice medicine because my grade school, junior high and high school teachers gave me the background to excel in college and medical school. I honestly remember few of my medical school professors, but I remember every one of my high school teachers, and most of my junior high and grade school teachers. Libby's school system produces excellent students. It is not because of the facilities; it is because of the teachers.

The school board must support education. Three teachers who have devoted their lives to their students have made a reasonable request, not honoring it is in my mind simply wrong. Not honoring their request says the school board does not acknowledge the tremendous and exemplary effort Rose Goyen, Kathi Kimberlin and Paula Darko-Hensler have made and it says the school board does not support education, since the teachers in Libby are, and always will be, the foundation of the system.

Dr. Walter Kemp