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Hobbs, M. K. (ed.) / The Wisconsin alumni magazine
Volume 27, Number 10 (Aug. 1926)

Goodbye and good luck!,   p. 318

Page 318

                       August, 1926
                       .Goodbye and Good Luck!
An Editorial Which Appeared in the La Crosse Tribune "and Leader-Press
of July 9th,' the Day after La Crosse
                                 Learned It Was Going to Lose Mr. McCormick.
W   HAT makes a job worthwhile to a good man is the
    opportunity it presents for constructive service and
accomplishment. Accordingly, it was on the cards that
B. E. McCormick would, sooner or later, move on from
his successful piece of work as superinitendent of schools
of La Crosse to a larger field. Hig work here has largely
been done. The machine has been designed, constructed
and set in operation, and while his whole program of
development and progress is not yet realized, it is well
in train, backed by the practically unanimous support
of public authorities and the citizenship. Barring acci-
dents, nothing will occur to overturn it, or mar its com-
pleted symmetry. And the arrival of this point in the
work was, naturally, the signal to Mr. McCormick to
turn it over to another and look for something else to
build. If he were not that kind of a man, he would not
have turned in to La Crosse the really unusual job ot
school development which he has produced for us in the
last sixteen years.
  It is thus easy to understand Mr. McCormick's resig-
nation, although the explanation does not make it any
easier to say "good-bye" to him. No one who is big
enough to do what he has done with our schools can stay
sixteen years in a community without getting himself
intricately entangled in the loyalties and affections of
his fellow-citizens, and when he cuts these bonds it is a
wrench on both sides. Just as we have come to regard
the McCormicks as permanent members of our La Crosse
family, so the McCormicks, no doubt, have come to
regard La Crosse as home, and their departure is a sor-
rowful business all around, however logical and inevita-
ble it may be. Mr. McCormick says he is a little jealous
of his successor, whoever he may be, and how the city
feels about it is well expressed in the heartfelt resolu-
tions adopted by the board of education. at the accept-
ance of his resignation. Both incidents illuminate the
personal relationship which has contributed so much to
Mr. McCormick's work here. He has had our affection
as well as our approval of his school policies and pro-
grams, and it will follow him wherever he goes.
   We cannot let the occasion pass without reminding
 La Crosse-though probably the reminder is unneces-
 sary-that in the sixteen years of Mr. McCormick's
 work here our schools have attained a position of recog-
nized leadership, not only in the state but in the nation.
The high school has developed from a language school
specializing in college preparatory courses to an instru-
ment of wide-spread community educational advance-
ment, as responsive to the needs of the "ordinary man"
as to those of the group which goes on to higher educa-
tion. Its enrollment has more than quadrupled as its
courses have been steadily increased and enriched, af-
-fording a measure of the improved service and closer
relationship to the community which its aggressive for-
ward policy has always sought. And what is true of the
high school is not less true of the g:ades. Gradually
there has been brought about a complete re-organiza-
tion of the public school system of the city, an evolution
bringing it into the van, and on occasion far out in front
of national school progress, even in a period when inten-
sive development of schools was the rule. La Crosse
has hardly realized where it stands in the thought of-
public school men; certainly it has not realized that its
superintendent and his programs and policies are
watched by thousands of educators the country over
who are alert for new and better ideas for their work.
Mr. McCormick modestly attributes his success to the
"splendid school spirit" that. exists in La Crosse, and
that this does exist there can be no doubt in the face of
hundreds of evidences of its presence in the last ten
years. But we count it not least of the achievements of
Superintendent McCormick that this spirit is so strong
and widespread. The fact of the matter is that it was
Mr. McCormick's leadership, tact and ability that cre-
ated this school spirit, or at least that encouraged it and
caused it to flourish as the green bay tree.
   In short, Mr. McCormick has done a bit of building
 here in our schools that will be remembered for many
 years. The service he has rendered is inestimable in
 value, and in the doing of it he has created hundreds of
 close friends who take his resignation with a keen sense
 of personal loss. But we realize that his capacity de-
 serves a larger field, and are as happy for his widening
 prospects as we are sorry to break the intimacy of daily
 contact and association. All we can say is:
   "Goodbye, and the best of luck! And come back
 often to see us."
,1ugust, 1926

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