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Key served as advocate for children

After more than 32 years in education, Dr. John Key Jr., is drawing his career to a close at the end of this year. It’s the end of a chapter in our county’s history.

Key, who has been superintendent for Pike County’s public schools for more than 20 years, "announced" his retirement when he decided not to qualify for re-election in the Democratic primary. His decision surprised many people – perhaps as much because he made it with little fanfare and no public announcement ­ and disappointed more, who have said that Key is an important part of the educational system in our community.

From his role as principal to the advocate for public education he has become as superintendent, Key has never strayed from his mission of helping the children. Even as he navigates the highly turbulent political waters of Alabama’s proration woes, he couches his comments and statements in terms of meeting the children’s needs. He has long handled the challenge of administering a poor, rural school district with limited funding … all the while keeping a focus on striving for academic excellence and achievement.

Those challenges are admittedly tiring, and Key admits to being weary but not defeated. Still, we suspect he will not be far removed from the educational arena. He has invested too much of his time, his energies and his heart in the education of Pike County’s children for too long. He knows too well the opportunities that lie ahead ­ from achieving unitary status to improving facilities and securing adequate funding from the state. And he has too much wisdom, too much insight and too much compassion waiting to be shared.  

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