Tuesday, July 22, 2014

GOP leader retiring from teaching post for political education

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 1/15/2014

After 43 “good years,” Bob Fluke said, it’s time to retire from teaching.

But the longtime educator and recently elected chairman of the Franklin County Republican Central Committee said he is not going to stop working with youth as he furthers the local GOP cause.

After 43 “good years,” Bob Fluke said, it’s time to retire from teaching.

But the longtime educator and recently elected chairman of the Franklin County Republican Central Committee said he is not going to stop working with youth as he furthers the local GOP cause.

“I plan on devoting more time to the central committee, attending other Republican meetings and making trips to the Legislature [in Topeka],” Fluke, an Ottawa Middle School math teacher who plans to retire at the end of the school year, said. “I would like to work with high school- and middle school-age youth, maybe taking some [student] pages to Topeka so they can see the legislative process. I want students, as well as adults, to get as much information as possible about the legislative process so they can see the whole picture.”

The central committee chairman said he would like to bring more legislative candidates and other elected officials running for state and national offices to Franklin County to speak to voters. Dr. Milton Wolf, who practices diagnostic radiology in the Kansas City area, spoke at a central committee meeting Monday night about running for the U.S. Senate. He plans to challenge longtime U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., in the August GOP primary.

“I was glad Dr. Wolf came down, and now I have a better idea about the man running against Pat Roberts,” Fluke said. “I will extend the same invitation to Sen. Roberts, and I plan to invite {U.S. Rep.] Lynn Jenkins, Gov. [Sam] Brownback and other state-elected officials to speak [at central committee meetings]. I would like to get as many speakers as possible before the August primary.”

About 40 people attended the central committee meeting to hear Wolf speak, and Fluke said the public would be invited to listen to future speakers. He said locally elected officials also are invited to speak. Fluke thought it was important for candidates to speak to as many voters as possible, he said.

“I don’t think any elected official thinks they have the election in the bag, at least they shouldn’t,” Fluke said. “They need to talk with the voters and give us a chance to ask questions as well.”

Voters also need to take advantage of opportunities to hear the candidates speak, Fluke said.

“The more information you have, the better decision you make,” he said.

In addition to his work with the central committee, Fluke said he plans to do some substitute teaching.

“After 43 years, it’s getting harder to get up in the mornings, especially the cold snowy ones,” Fluke said, laughing. “But I’m not going to walk away from teaching completely. Education is still a passion.”

Fluke, 64, said he would like to focus some of his volunteer time toward school drop-out prevention.

“When we send students from the middle school to the high school, we watch their progress,” he said, “and if you see one drop out, your heart breaks. One drop-out is too many.”

Before joining the middle school staff eight years ago, Fluke spent 30 years as a teacher in the Central Heights school district, he said. He began his teaching career during a five-year stint in Cherryvale before moving to Ottawa nearly 40 years ago, he said.

Family and church also are an important part of Fluke’s life, he said, and some mission trips might be in his future.

comments powered by Disqus