Published DateTo the editor,
I am quite certain that this is only one of a large number of letters you will receive concerning Bob Champlin's retirement letter, read to the School Board the other night. Reading the story caused me to reflect on my relationship with Bob.
I first got to know "Coach Bob" when I became involved in the Lou Athanas Youth Basketball League. You could immediately tell that this was a man dedicated to the youth of the community. He gladly accepted any task I asked him to help with and during my tenure with LAYBL he helped me run the High School Girls Division of the league.
I remember a series of incidents being instigated against my daughter by a particular student at the Middle School that required police action. Former Principal Rice was refusing to take action and within a day of being notified of what was going on, Bob Champlin had satisfactorily rectified the situation. We didn't have to harangue the superintendent's office to get them to respond. My wife merely sent a short e-mail to Bob. My daughter was safe and I am still grateful to this day.
I also remember when my oldest daughter graduated from LHS. Graduation day was very hectic and quite rough on us and not only because of the weather and the ceremony being moved into the old MMS gymnasium. My mother-in-law, my daughter's grandmother was in the hospital. The ceremony went without a hitch except for the dire heat everyone was experiencing in the gym. My daughter wanted to go visit her grandmother in the hospital with her cap and gown but they were supposed to return them after the ceremony was over. I remember approaching Bob to ask if she could return the cap and gown later but before I could say anything he told her "go visit your grandma. She needs to see you dressed up and you can drop the cap and gown off at the school on Monday."
This is an example of what made Bob such an amazing educator and leader. I don't know how many people know that Bob not only knows the names of every student in his district but also knows details of their lives. He has proven that he is a man that not only wants them to become the best they can be but is also willing to protect and defend them at the same time.
I have no doubt that Bob will overcome his current health challenges but I do have a concern that the citizens of Laconia will have a school superintendent who is as capable, compassionate and caring as the one they have right now.
Best of luck to you with what the future brings, Coach Bob. You will always have my support and respect wherever life takes you.