Some school superintendents are effective administrators and others are remembered for the fact they got along so harmoniously with teachers, principals and others in their educational system. Few, however, are able to blend the two talents as effectively and productively as did Carl Knox in his 22 years as superintendent for the Lawrence school district.
Knox died Tuesday at a Kansas City hospital after a heart attack the previous weekend. He was 73. He had been felled by a stroke earlier but had made excellent progress since then and even had been able to play some golf of late on a limited basis. He had retired in 1984 at the age of 67 and after years of the constant, around-the-clock demands posed by people in the field of education, he had been thoroughly enjoying having time with wife Dorothy and his daughters and their families to do all the things he had been forced to put on hold. He took particular delight from his golfing activities and friends, and was excited when he was able to ``get back out a bit'' following rehabilitation from his stroke.
It is not often an educator winds up his career as superintendent in a district where he once was a student. Knox, a Liberty Memorial High School graduate here, did just that and his deep loyalty and appreciation for his home community never waned. It did, in fact, grow through the years. He often said the superintendency here was his ``dream job,'' and he paid his dues to realize that dream.
He taught school, served his country four years as an Army Air Corps officer during World War II and handled a number of administrative posts en route to his appointment to the Lawrence job in 1962. He had opportunities to go elsewhere but chose to remain among the people in ``my home town.'' He was considered a good administrator and generated strong loyalty from the people with whom he worked. He helped hire many top-flight people for the local school system and the names on the list of 22 retirees from the district the past year attested to the high caliber of the many he was able to help attract and retain.
The Lawrence school district made important and significant progress in the 22 years of Carl Knox's tenure and his cheerful and thoughtful contributions to the town and school system are something about which his family have every right to be proud.