Several years ago, I stumbled across the David School, a small non-profit, non-traditional high school located in a holler in David, Kentucky. What I quickly learned on my first visit to attend the 2020 graduation was that the David School was a special place, a place where students are not judged, rather, a place where students are nurtured, encouraged, and taught that they can succeed and accomplish anything they dream.
From that first day, and for the past three and a half years, I have filled the pages of my mind with memories of my time at the school. From teaching, to cleaning, painting, and a lot of listening to students about their dreams for the future. What I learned most is that the students who attend the David School just wanted to be encouraged and assured that they could have a future beyond the walls of the school, and for that matter, beyond the boundaries of the mountains if that is what they wanted.
One of the dreams I had as a volunteer at the David School, or should I say one of my passions was to see the restoration of the Falcon cabins; the restoration of the pond in front of the cabins; an eventual pole barn and several gazebos to provide a venue for family and church retreats, destination weddings, and a place for visitors to stay to enjoy all that the mountains have to offer from bike trails, to hiking paths, boating and the rich history of the region. Of course, with declining donors, there were those of us who saw these dreams as a stream of income which would help to keep the doors open for the young men and women who attend the school.
While we were getting close to the finish line with the restoration of the cabins, my dreams for the school came crashing down several days ago when I received an email requesting that I disassociate my relationship with the David School.
Of course, those who know me, including the staff and students at the school know I would never do anything to tarnish the reputation of the David School. While I was disappointed with the email, I was not surprised. I had been warned that it would happen. The email stated the following:
Mark – as a result of the controversy surrounding the Amber Spradlin tragedy-threats of litigation over 911 in which you are involved – I have received considerable negative feedback from just about all of the board members. Unfortunately your public comments referencing the school receiving funds from threatened litigation have caused the impression that the school is involved in the ongoing controversy.
Pursuant to the David School bylaws we had a phone conference with the executive committee today. They have authorized me to request that you disassociate yourself from The David School. While we appreciate your past efforts on behalf of the school, the present unique circumstances have compelled us to take this action. Ned
Oh well, maybe it is best that I disassociate myself from the school. Once those responsible for murdering Amber are brought to justice, litigation will begin. And yes, I will be a member of the legal team that will search every corner of the facts regarding the morning of June 18th. Nothing else needs to be said.
Again, while I have been asked to disassociate my relationship with the David School, I intend to encourage those who care about the David School to continue to provide support for the young men and women who have dreams for the future, dreams which would not be attainable without the David School.
On a final note, and with apologizes to Bob Hope, I would like to close with the last stanza of the lyrics of Bob Hope’s theme song, “Thanks for the Memories,”
Awfully glad I met you
Cheerio and toodle-oo
Thank you so much.