Wednesday, May 9, 2007

John F. McCune 1931-2007

It is with great sorrow that we report that John F. “Jack” McCune, died today.

Mr. McCune taught history, government, and, by example, the characteristics of a true gentleman to many of those who read this blog. After our time, he served as the sixth headmaster St. Albans School and did a remarkable job of guiding that great school to new levels of excellence.

Jack, who was 76 years old, was diagnosed with acute leukemia last November. At that time I sent him greetings from our class, including a set of class notes that included the news that one of us was tackling the daunting task of serving as superintendent of Pittsburgh schools. I know this made him proud.

He wrote the thank you note above in his elegant script. The note included a word that sent me diving for my dictionary. (I know now that it is also the name of a well-known bakery in New Orleans).

lagniappe n., (from a French derivation of the Spanish la napa) a small gift given a customer by a merchant at the time of purchase; broadly: something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure.

The great teachers never stop teaching.

All those he taught have many memories of Mr. McCune's kindness and elegance that so often and so remarkably coaxed respectable discourse out of us teenage Calibans.
If any of wishes to submit his or her memories to St. Albans click here.

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