Many colleagues of Steve Raupp were quick to respond to requests for comments about their working relationship with the educator over the past 34 years. Some of the comments are as follows:
Ellen Peterson -- 35 year Yosemite High history teacher and coach: "My 35 year history with Steve has provided me with the finest of role models and counselors in coaching and supervising. I have innumerable memories of Steve motivating the troops ... one in particular was the famous pregame speech to the student body before his football team defeated the talented and state ranked Dos Palos team; showing a servant's heart no matter his position of leadership and always taking the high ground in any situation or dispute. Professionally and personally he has always given our students and staff a great example of leadership and commitment."
Sally Frazier -- Retired 24-year Madera County Superintendent of Schools: "It was always a pleasure for me to work with Steve as I have the highest respect for him. I knew I could trust him to be forthright and honest. He is a man of the highest ethics and his commitment and loyalty to excellence for Yosemite Unified were deep and his leadership was consistently strong.
He grasped the superintendent leadership reins knowing the significant challenges he would face in the newly formed unified school district. He faced head on tough decisions that had to be made for a district with declining enrollment. The people within the district have been fortunate to have Steve Raupp at their district's helm."
Betsy Blum -- Retired 35-year Yosemite High teacher and librarian: "Bing an administrator is often a difficult and thankless job but Steve excelled in this role with honestly, integrity and fairness. I remember the meetings where he lead, encouraged and maneuvered Yosemite High through the hoops of 'No Child Left Behind,' the YHS mission statement, student learning objectives and other educational requirements.
We got through it all thanks to Steve's cool style, some humor and because he was prepared. Having gone through a few principals at YHS during my 35 years at YHS, I rank Steve No. 1."
Monika Moulin -- District board member: "Mr. Raupp brought personal qualities and workplace ethics that are very much admired."
Kevyn Moberly -- 36-year employee of the district and current director of maintenance, operations and transportation: "Having known and worked with Steve for 34 years has been a pleasure. His friendly leadership style will be missed. He has been a great fit as the district superintendent. He always emphasized students and education ahead of everything else and he gave the district the kick start it needed at the right time."
John Reynolds: President of the Yosemite Unified School District Board of Trustees: "I congratulate Steve on a distinguished and exemplary career at Yosemite High School and with the district. Steve has been asked to take on numerous challenges and he accepted these opportunities to serve students without hesitation, every time excelling at the highest levels of professionalism.
It won't be the same without his genuine concern for our students' best interests. Steve is a true gentleman and we all wish him the very best in retirement."
Dennis Otterson -- Retired 32-year teacher in the district: "From the very beginning, Steve was a very professional and organized individual, both in his coaching and his teaching. I congratulate him on reaching his new plateau in life ... retirement ... enjoy it."
Dave Dooman -- 31-year Yosemite High teacher and coach: "When I came to Yosemite High in 1981 I was an assistant in the football program and also coached wrestling and soccer when Steve was head football coach and later athletic director.
He has always been very professional , supportive and caring as a boss. His sense of humor always added an element of fun. I always knew he was there to help me be successful. He will not only be missed as a great leader but also as a friend on campus."
Deborah Brown -- President of the Yosemite Unified Teachers Association: "It's been almost two years since I became president of the teacher's union and Mr. Raupp and I have spent many hours discussing, debating and more often than not, reaching consensus on a multitude of issues that face our teachers and our district. He has always been accessible when I had questions of concerns.
His open door policy has allowed the union the opportunity to address issues quickly and equitably. Mr. Raupp and I have been able to resolve issues that some thought would never be resolved. When I became the union president, he said nothing would be personal and he expected me to fight the good fight if I ever felt teachers' had been wronged. To date, he has kept his promise.'
Aaron Eames -- Yosemite High teacher and head varsity football and basketball coach: "A successful football program is dependent upon the support of the district administration which we have been fortunate to have at Yosemite High. Steve will be sorely missed."
Donald Eaves -- Yosemite Bank assistant manager and Oakhurst Sierra Sunrise Rotary club member: "Steve is a long time Rotarian and he has always been very generous with his time for the club. He is always one of the first to volunteer for club projects. He exemplifies what it means to be a Rotarian and our club is blessed to have him as a member."
Tammy Thacker-- Yosemite High Athletic and Student Activities Director: I was stunned and shocked at the announcement. It was like losing my dad. Steve has taught me more than anyone in education.
I would be blessed if I can be half the leader he is. He is an amazing man to work for -- he knows his stuff and he has a true love for the students. He will be missed."