Diane Barlow is now ending over eight years as a member of the Salt Lake City Board of Education. We in Salt Lake City, especially those of us living in Diane's precinct, are losing a dedicated public servant as she leaves the board to render service elsewhere.

I have had the privilege of observing and working closely with Diane Barlow over the entire term of her school board service in my various capacities in the city schools' shared governance process.Diane has set a standard as a member of the Board of Education that will be difficult to equal, and impossible to surpass. She has devoted hours to visit each school in her precinct regularly. She has taken hundreds of phone calls and given hours of careful listening to her constituents.

Diane has not always voted the way I wanted, but her votes were always her best educated judgment and conscience, and not the result of anyone's influence.

I also want to set the record straight on Diane's decision to continue with her candidacy in the recent election, even though she had learned she would not be able to serve out her term. Several interested persons in Precinct 6 who would have run for Diane's seat had chosen not to run against Diane.

Diane did not learn of her LDS mission call until long after the filing deadline for her seat on the Board of Education had passed. By continuing to be a candidate for her seat and winning, Diane has now allowed an opportunity for all interested persons, including her election opponent, to apply for the vacant seat.

It was hard on Diane to be accused by the news media and other detractors of being party to some scheme to "hand pick" her successor. Yet in this last act, Diane continued to put the best interests of her precinct ahead of her own comfort and interests. We will miss you, Diane.

A. Robert Thorup

Salt Lake City