Sunday, February 1, 2009

Goodbye Mr. Lyness

Dear Mr. Lyness-

I heard of your passing today from some of your former students on Facebook of all things. There was an instant rush and need to post memories honoring you and how you touched so many lives. It was such a honor knowing you and the world is a lesser place for you not being in it anymore. The rest of us can only in our wildest dreams hope that we come close to making the kind of impact your did on so many lives.

You were tough. You were probably the toughest teacher I ever had and you made no apologies for it. You set an incredibly high standard for your students and never wavered on your need for excellence. Your classes were spellbinding. I can still here the :::clomp::: sound your shoes made as they landed on the top of your desk, which you had jumped onto to demonstrate a point. You stuffed my head so full of things that I had to memorize for your tests and my reward for all that cramming was a beautifully scrolled "Nice Job" in your perfect handwriting on my test.

Even the most uninspired student brought up his game in your class. You brought out the best in all of us and pushed us to our greatest potential. I'd like to think that you and I had a special relationship but I know the truth is that everyone who knew you felt like they had a special relationship with you because you made everyone feel so unique and well...special.

You whole life was spent in some form of service and your mind was more sharp than anyone I have ever met in my life, before or since. I truly hope that you really knew and understood what a legacy you were creating with every lecture you delivered and understood what heights you lifted us to with every comment you uttered to us.

The people of Boone and the students of Boone High were privileged to be the benefactors of your knowledge and we are proud to be the keepers now of your memory. I can only hope and call on all the people who you have touched to honor the gifts you gave to us by paying forward what you have taught us. To do so is swimming in the shoes of the intellectual and emotional giant that you were but we, your students will humbly do our best.

With the deepest love and respect and prayers for your family,

(on behalf of all your students)

Tracey Herrick

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