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I’m going to take a slight detour from my usual topics in honor of a colleague and friend. Here’s to Wynn.

For the past week and a half, I have grappled with the penetrating questions of “Who is Wynn?” and “What is Wynn to me?” The depth of these questions is often easy to overlook, as I did, in the time he was alive. Yet, something about passing from this world we exist in gives pause to consider these questions in ever more authentic ways. And so, I give to you, my own journey towards understanding these deeper meanings.

Wynn had a depth to his life that is hard to put into words. It was tangible, yet beyond physicality. There was a gritty authenticity to his personality. Wynn was uniquely Wynn with such strength of resolution as to make you forget that he had reason to be nervous or self-conscious.

Perhaps only weeks before Wynn moved on, I found myself discussing speech impediments with some friends. One person relayed the story of how someone close to her would actually avoid talking to coworkers, lest they discover his stutter. It occurred to me at that moment that I could not picture Wynn ever letting something like his stutter hinder him in the slightest. In fact, Wynn was full of such presence that I could not imagine him being uncomfortable about who he was, ever. I began to wonder at that point—realizing that no one goes through life without encountering some uncertainty—how Wynn had become so fully confident in his own authentic identity.

Often, in the world of teaching, we teachers are far from confident in our decisions. Those of you reading this, who may still be students, may be surprised to hear this. We regularly find ourselves consulting others to discover what we should do, or how we should react to students not liking us or being angry with us. Wynn always knew what he wanted out of his students, and there was no conversation that he wasn’t willing to have. I myself have fallen prey to avoiding a difficult conversation with a student or parent, but you couldn’t have kept Wynn from calling his students immediately if anything was ever in need of discussion.

Wynn likely could not have held himself back had he tried. I could almost see the spark of genuine need within him anytime there was something still to do – something hanging out there that could possibly benefit his students. This was something biological, something built deeply into his soul; he could not stop until he had done everything in his power to push his students towards success.

Dedication like Wynn’s does not come around often, and all those who have been impacted by his life will feel its loss. Wynn Wright is an amazing man who lived an extraordinary life, which no other human being could have ever lived.

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