Guest Editorial, April 4, 2009 |

Guest Editorial, April 4, 2009

Jim Doilney, Park City

I write this for all readers who had the great fortune to have parents like Stephen and Sarah Doilney. I know there are many. The story comes now because this August, five years after my dad’s death, my mom, who many readers had met, passed.

Education was always my parents’ greatest focus for my brother, sister, and me. Week-night TV was forbidden. Homework, with their help, filled our week-night evenings along with character-building chores. We three attended a combination of public and Catholic schools; my folks never missed a PTA meeting or a chance to give a special teacher a personally meaningful gift or a dinner at our home or a restaurant. When it came to education, they knew what was going on.

My father Stephen, grew up in a Pennsylvania coal-mining town with his fresh-from-Ellis-Island Ukrainian immigrant parent and five siblings. His dad and two of his siblings died of poverty-related problems by the time he was twelve. He had to leave high school and work in the Civilian Conservation Corps in order to earn money for his family. He later graduated No. 1 in his class of 300 plus.

He and my mother, Sarah, met at the shoe factory where they both worked. Through hard work he later secured a job with the Department of Defense, ultimately supervising many dozens of folks with graduate degrees. I never heard him complain about anything (other than politics) his entire life.

Sarah was tapped to leave home at age 14 to help her aging grandparents run their farm 30 miles away. She dedicated her life to others and constantly demanded we do our level best at every opportunity presented to us. Her main fault was she was a "food pusher." You could never leave her home without eating seconds and taking carry-outs.

They spent 30 summers in Park City helping raise their grandchildren, all of whom attended Park City public schools for much of their educations. They absolutely loved Park City and had an immense number of Parkite friends. They constantly reminded me that no one can take away your education and that it was imperative each of us give it our all. I am thrilled they can be remembered with these teaching awards.

Recommended Stories For You

The Sarah & Stephen Doilney Teaching Excellence Awards have been presented every year since 1994. For a related story, please turn to page A-10.