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Tribute To David Craig

Sen. Patty Murray

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Mr. President on behalf of Senator Cantwell and myself, it is with great privilege that I congratulate a hard-working Washingtonian, Mr. David Craig, on his well-deserved retirement on June 23, 2011, after forty seven years of dedicated service to the students of Highline High School.

Mr. Craig taught business in classroom 216 at Highline High School for his entire career. To put his extraordinary longevity in perspective, Mr. Craig's first graduating class were 18 years old during the 1964-1965 school year. During that same year, President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty and signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act; Beatlemania was sweeping the globe, and Muhammad Ali was named the heavy weight champion of the world. Today, those 18-year-old students are now senior citizens.

Over the course of five decades, Mr. Craig has touched the lives of over 10,000 students. He had the pleasure, as few teachers do, of having his children, Michael and Shelley, as students. He taught Royce Badley, now his coworker and Academic Dean of Students for the Highline High School, and Shaya Calvo, now senior prosecuting attorney for King County. He has also seen his share of tragedies, including losing students to conflicts in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Yet he is consistently reminded of the joy of teaching, seeing it not only in the young people he continues to help today, but also in the frequent encounters he has with former students in his day-to-day life.

It is important moments such as the retirement of a great teacher that we reflect on their impact on their school and community. In assessing the legacy of a teacher like Dave Craig, Henry Adams perhaps said it best: ``a teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.'' The legacy that Dave Craig leaves is one that has positively affected the lives of thousands of young people, giving them one of the greatest gifts America can bestow upon its citizenry: the gift of education. As a teacher, Dave Craig has served his school, his community, his country and most importantly his students with enthusiasm and dedication. We should all be very thankful for his selfless devotion to Highline High School.

On behalf of all Washingtonians, we commend David for his many years of commitment to our State. His knowledge, experience, and loyalty to education will be sorely missed. We congratulate David and wish he and his wife Paula the best of luck in their future endeavors.