The State College Area School District recently held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the high school renovation project, providing a sense of closure to one of the central local issues of the past decade.
The event celebrated the patience and hard work of many people. Some were on hand to be recognized. One absence was palpable — that of the former school board president, the late Rick Madore.
Reaching this point required building a challenging consensus in support of a way forward for State High, and Madore deserves credit for helping us get here.
Madore, a true pillar of the Nittany Valley, should be remembered as much for his importance to the local swimming community, years serving dental patients and critical work with Centre Volunteers in Medicine as his contributions to the school district.
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At a fractious moment in our history, he stepped into the fray and brought a consistently positive, stabilizing presence to the school board. His calm and steady leadership ensured the ultimate focus remained on finding a workable solution for our kids.
The district’s ceremony felt like a period at the end of a closing sentence and the beginning of an entirely new chapter. This transitional moment in our story should not pass us by without a respectful nod to Rick Madore. It might have turned out differently without him.