After reading Friday's letter to the editor entitled "Where's the superintendent?" I could not sit back and not respond, as our community should and probably does know our superintendent, Carol Lark. Carol has spent the better part of her life devoted to children from what I have read and heard over the past year during her tenure. I am not sure where you have been Ronica, but I am sure it was not here in Douglas County.
Your letter, which does discredit our superintendent, was nothing less than cold. I am sure that in your own grief, you had to take it out on someone, but I am not sure that Carol Lark deserved your scorn. From what I understand, Carol raised two boys.
I believe that any mother surely appreciates the gravity of a situation where another mother loses a child, especially at such a young age. I do not know the family, but my heart and prayers go out to them. Is it possible that Carol actually spoke to the mother and father and expressed her sympathy? Is it possible that Carol called each of the principals of each of the schools or sent a memo to them regarding this child, and called for this meeting at the school? Is it possible that Carol counseled the counselors on how to approach this situation?
Do you expect a general in charge of troops on a battlefield to get down in the trenches during a firefight and fight along with the troops and when the battle is half-over fly home to attend the funeral of each soldier who may have perished during the fight?
I hope not. Carol Lark is many things, but the adjective "cold" does not come to my mind. It is my understanding that Carol spent her first two years out of high school working for the Peace Corps in Ecuador living in less than stately quarters involving herself with impoverished children. She spent several years in a school in Las Vegas, which does not have the resources we have here, but was instrumental in leading and teaching there and making a difference which may be a difficult measure of how caring a person is, but, I am sure you get the point.
In the past year, Carol has had to meet and greet children, parents, teachers, counselors and staff of over 13 schools. Since she has taken over as superintendent, she has had to deal with several tragedies, including the drowning death of two young Douglas High School graduates at Lake Tahoe, a bus collision injuring several elementary children, the death of local and former graduates who were valiant soldiers in Iraq, the death of a school board president and, this past week, the death of a student and 2006 graduate of Douglas High School.
I am not sure what Carol was doing during the meeting for grieving students, parents and staff, but I don't know that I can fathom the responsibility that she has, and know that she cannot be everywhere for everyone, but would assume she wished she could be, especially in light of how you feel, Ronica.
As a taxpayer and advocate of our superintendent and administration, I would extend my apologies to the family and school that have suffered this loss of precious life, and hope that all who grieve find solace in the fact that many of us were there in spirit and our prayers are with this child and his family. May God bless them and keep them, always.
By the way, I have met Carol Lark on two occasions. When she shook my hand, hers was warmer, both times.
-- Gary Thurm is a Minden resident and
a Douglas High School graduate.