Opinion: Thanks for caring about our kids

I was very sad to hear that John Barth is retiring as the Elk River activities director. Maybe when he is retired people will finally realize all the work he did in the athletic and activities field to benefit hundreds if not thousands of kids.

I have known John since before he moved to Elk River. We faced each other in fast-pitch softball, then played on the same team when John moved here. I consider him a very good friend. There’s no doubt that the A.D. job was perfect for him. He was an outstanding athlete at the high school and collegiate level and he has a passion for sports and activities. He also loves kids. You put those two things together and you get a great A.D.

I was always amazed how much John got done with a relatively small amount of money. He found ways to improve Elk River’s athletic facilities in spite of tight budgets.

John put in long hours in his job but I think he loved what he did. I have never met a person as easy to work with as John. He always did whatever it took to get the job done.

On behalf of all citizens of our district I say “Thanks, John,” for caring about kids for all your years as a teacher and A.D. Their lives are better for having crossed paths with you. — John Dietz, Elk River


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