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Farewell to a couple of friends

A couple of friends of mine are leaving Thomson.

McDuffie County School Superintendent Mark Peterson and his wife, Brenda, soon will be moving to Ninety-Six, S.C.

Dr. Petersen, who has served as our school superintendent for the past five years, recently was named the new school superintendent for that school district.

It's always sad to say goodbye to friends - no matter the circumstances. And I certainly consider Mark and Brenda my friends.

I had the pleasure of getting to know both Mark and Brenda. I personally thought both of them were a plus to our community - Mark serving in his role as school superintendent and his wife doing whatever she could do to support him or our school system and athletic programs.

As our school superintendent, one of the things I always admired about Mark was his open-door policy. I remember him telling me when I first met him that he was about being accessible to the public. I can truthfully say that Mark always honored what he said to me concerning that topic.

We talked on numerous occasions - either in his office, through telephone conversations or at ball games. I also enjoyed the time I spent with Brenda. She always treated me just as nice as her husband.

Mark accomplished a lot of things as our school superintendent. There were often times when the decisions he had to make weren't easy ones and didn't please everyone. Still he made them, because it was necessary. He wasn't one of those persons who made a decision just for the mere sake of doing it. When he made the decision, you can believe he put much study into it beforehand. I guess you could actually say, he always did his homework!

Aside from making many sound decisions regarding our local school system, Mark also was dedicated to the job. When he said he was working on behalf of the boys and girls in the McDuffie County School System, he really was. He loved this school system and he loved this community.

And Mark and Brenda Petersen loved their Thomson High Bulldogs!

The couple was highly-supportive of our athletic programs. They often attended many of the games, whether it was football, basketball, baseball or softball. They believed in our Bulldogs no matter the outcome of the score.

They even showcased their loyalty to the school colors - black and gold - with items on the front lawn of their home in the Hickory Hills subdivision. The school system's central office was even redone by Brenda to show their love for the school colors, too, along with figurines of all sizes of Bulldogs sitting around. Today, those items are no longer in place - now just a memory as Mark and Brenda prepare to settle in a new home in a new community.

I hate to see my friends departing. Yet at the same time, I wish them all of the happiness that God has in store for them in Ninety-Six, S.C. Indeed, our loss of these two fine people will certainly be the gain of those in the Ninety-Six area.

Web posted on Thursday, June 25, 2009

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