After I graduated from college, I didn't get a full-time job right away. So, I decided I would become a substitute teacher for the area schools. My first job was as a sub for the WHS Ag teacher while he was with the FFA members at the Walla Walla Fair. Although I didn't really get to know the other teachers in the building those first days of my teaching career, I heard about the other teachers from the kids--Mrs. Henderson, Mr. Branson, Mr. Warehime, Miss Fanciullo, Mr. Hagerman, Mr. Scott, Mr. White--however, it was Mr. Beasley who really stuck in my mind. He was a no nonsense type of teacher--not much misbehavior in his room. However, as the school year progressed I was fortunate enough to find a job mid-year at Prescott Jr./Sr. High School. One of my new colleagues took me under her wing and I got to know her family. One time when I was at her house, her daughter started talking about a change in Mr. Beasley. The once no nonsense teacher allowed a little nonsense into the classroom. The kids roasted marshmallows over the open flame during class (remember Ken taught science...there was a reason to have access to an open flame). There was a change in Mr. Beasley. And that change was known by the name of Ms. Nolan. I feel very honored that I've known Ken and Pam for a long time. I was around during their dating, their wedding, the birth of their children, the joy of parenthood, and the sadness of losing parents. They supported their boys in all their endeavors, but I know they gathered great joy being a part of the "Road Crew" for the Troublemakers or helping with Salt and Light events. As the boys grew older, they made new memories as they went on great adventures with them. With Pam and the boys, Ken had a life he adored. Tonight Ken Beasley died. My colleague, my boss, my cheerleader, my friend. I will never get to talk to him again about the boys. I will never get to hear the pride in his voice as he shared all the great things Pam has accomplished. I will never get to tell him how much he meant to me. Ken will be remembered as a great teacher--many will share their stories and how he touched and changed lives. Ken will be remembered as a great friend--so many stories and adventures. Ken will be remembered as a great principal--innovator and problem solver. Ken will be remembered as a great father and a wonderful husband. Ken Beasley will be remembered. Today, on the day he would have turned twenty-four years old, Andrew got to welcome Austin's dad to Heaven. I've had this image in my mind ever since I heard the news. My dear boy welcoming Ken to the neighborhood. Give my boy a hug, dear Ken.
Tonight, my heart has a new crack in it, Andrew's Mom