For the week of April 28, 1999  thru May 4, 1999  

So long, Mr. Homer

Blaine County’s schools won’t be the same when superintendent Phil Homer walks out of his office door for the last time.

Homer will retire after 11 years as superintendent when the school year ends. He used a gentle mix of dignity and strength to face the challenges of a career in education that spanned 37 years.

Homer led the district through the stresses of growth as the county’s population burgeoned and changed. He built new schools. He brought it into the era of computers. He dealt with the social issues that plague teenage life—family issues, drugs and alcohol—and to offer kids a good education in spite of it all.

Every kid and every parent of a kid who ever went to school in Blaine County knows "Mr. Homer." His personable and dignified demeanor is a staple at school events. His very stature speaks of good schools, good education and good kids.

Homer’s departure is the end of an era for local schools. Compared to the teaching fads that roared through education during his career, his style was traditional and conventional, a little old-fashioned.

His style--his can-do everything-will-turn-out-alright attitude--is one the district could find itself longing for in the future,.

The best going away present for Homer will be for school leaders to remember that cleaving a bit to the traditional can go a long way when the future throws out the inevitable curves. And, for the people of Blaine County to build on the strong foundation Homer leaves as his legacy.


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