Just got this e-mail from Chip Candy (see below). As most of you know, Chip is an outstanding physical educator from New Jersey and a former National Middle School PE Teacher of the Year. As we all spend time with family and loved ones this July 4th weekend, please take time to read this inspirational story. Every person in the world, especially physical education teachers, should read this on an annual basis.
July 3, 2011
The John Baker story is tremendous! I don’t see how you can read it with dry eyes. It made me feel ashamed at my lack of time, compassion, dedication, caring, and concern for my students.
In my 33rd year of teaching, I vow to do a better job, and keep the focus on best effort… mine most importantly. Hope you are well. We are new grandparents. Life is good.
A few more comments about this story…
John did not loose his focus on why we coach. It is for the kids. He put their well being above his own. A great model to be a good coach and teacher.
Adaptive Physical Education Teacher and Coach
Thanks for the great article. I was John Baker’s best friend from the 4th grade until his untimely death.
John P. Haaland
Thanks for your posting of the Last Race story. I am John Baker’s sister and President/CEO of the John Baker Foundation. Please feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions about John. It’s still great to hear about the continued interest in John and his legacy.
Jill Baker McMullan
It has been more than 40 years since my brother John passed away. My sister Jill, Coach Haaland and I continue to hear from teachers, former students and members of the Duke City Dashers about how deeply Coach Baker affected their lives. For those who see only the negative side of coaches and athletics, remember to share the story with your loved ones, kids, teachers, and coaches. As long as we remember and share the total devotion and courage that John Baker showed in the face of death, there will be kids who will know that someone cares, and that they are sombody who matters. John’s “Race to Death” poem is a perfect overlay on the life of Coach John Baker.
For the children, John. You are my hero.
Robert Baker, brother of John Baker.