Friday, 04 September 2009 00:00
Lee Aschenbrenner was principal of Flower Hill School when it closed in 1979, and I was PTA President. We worked closely that year - with all the turmoil you might expect going on around us - and we got to know the man we affectionately called “Mr. A.”
He was an amazing person, calm, cool and collected, but definitely in charge. He set the tone of the building, with his crew of outstanding teachers, and created an atmosphere of learning and growing for our children. The parents were welcome in their classrooms and his door was literally always open. Walking through the hall, you only had to glance toward the general office, and there in the inner office, was Mr. A at his desk. You had only to tap gently on his door, he would look up, and welcome you in with a wave.
He knew our children’s names their first day of school as kindergartners because he had studied their pictures during the summer. He knew their siblings and parents. If they ran into him in town many years later, he still remembered and he knew what they had been up to. When I visited him in the hospital after that horrendous accident, he could not speak, but he mouthed the words, “How are the children?”
We thank you, Mr. A, for the fine example you set for our children, your students, for working so nicely with the parents, and for the memories we will cherish that you made happen. We will never forget the Flower Hill fairs, the school plays, the Halloween parades, the sixth-grade ceremonies, and your red plaid slacks, worn every year during the holidays.
Here’s to you, Mr. A! May you rest in peace.