Longtime teacher uses blog to rally Marysville-Pilchuck

MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- A retired teacher who spent more than three decades at Marysville-Pilchuck High School is getting a lot of attention for a blog post he wrote about the shooting.

Jim Pankiewicz keeps in touch with his alumni through his fishing blog. To him, fishing and teaching have similarities.

"I wrote an article for my blog, 'The Take is the Premier Moment,'" he said. "In fishing that's the best thing. That's the take. It's the same in the classroom. When the kid straightens his back when her eyes are little bit brighter. Yeah."

The beloved marketing teacher known as "Mr. P" left his post in 2009 after 34 years at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. He was known for his sage words of wisdom he bestowed on the students every week.

"I'll always feel connected to the community. I will always feel to connected to the alumni," said Pankiewicz.

"They're in here," he says as he pats his chest. "Right here."

It's the same place now filled with heartache, confusion, and anger, after the horror that happened on campus ten days ago.

"Those kids' lives are gone. Their faces shattered. Their families devastated. When will they get over that? How will they get over that?" he asked. "Trust broken, for 1,200 kids, for 120 staff members, trust is broken. For a whole community. That makes me angry!"

Those emotions came out in his latest blog entry, detailing some of the school's proudest moments. He points to a shining light in these dark days, when shooting victim Nate Hatch offered his forgiveness.

"How did he write that? Where does the 14-year-old find the courage and strength to say I forgive you? How does he do that?" asked Pankiewicz.

Using his same old words of encouragement, Mr. P. is using his blog to rally the students again to take back the school.

His blog entries normally get 300 hits. This has one more than 7,000.

"Marysville-Pilchuck is still a good place, it's a safe place, and it is to me a very very special place and it always will be."


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