2003 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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Role models who give us Reasons to Believe in the power of education

John Coolidge

Sumner High School — Class of 1967John Coolidge 

When successful members of the community reach a certain level of achievement, some feel it is their obligation to "give something back." But what John Coolidge, the 31st postmaster in Kansas City, Mo., has given back to his community is definitely beyond the call of duty.

The list of programs and organizations that John, a 1967 graduate of Sumner High School, is involved in, fill up a sheet of paper as fast as it fills up the hearts of those whom he has helped. They include: Big Brothers / Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Food Drive, YouthFriends, Day of Caring, and several others.

In addition to these charities, he also has recently taken a missionary trip to Uganda, Africa, where he helped build housing for orphans.

A huge Reason to Believe for John while growing up was his teachers, who kept him excited and wanting to learn. This desire for education was apparently unquenchable, as he went on to earn an Associate of Arts degree from Kansas City, Kansas Community College, a bachelor's degree from Ottawa University, and a master's degree from Friends University.

John took his education and expertise with him when he served as master instructor at the Bolger Academy in Potomac, Md., and in Los Angeles. But John's heart has always been in Kansas City, where his junior high and high school teachers helped form the foundation of his life.

John was so grateful to these mentors that he invited many of them to his swearing-in ceremony as postmaster. These teachers tried to implant in him the idea that the desire to do your best comes from within. John truly believes that "His teachers," made all the difference in his success.