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New Salem - April 4, 2007

Counselor’s Corner


© 2007
Dr. Gaylynn Becker, LPCC
National Certified Career Counselor
National Certified School Counselor
New Salem High School

Requiem for an “Iron Man”

There were some sad days at New Salem High School last week. Mr. Brent Lauf’s funeral service was in the high school gym. He battled cancer for over 2 years. He fought courageously. He didn’t let it get him down – at least I never saw it.

What seemed most impressive to me about Mr. Lauf was his “can do” attitude. His attitude was strong and consistent as he continued to coach cross-country while he was battling cancer. He and the team would stage in the “Commons Area” outside my office. It was inspiring to listen to him talk to his runners as they would stretch and get ready for their afternoon run. His athletes seemed to just run and work harder as a result of his struggles. He seemed more like a second father to them than a coach.

Two things that Mr. Lauf demonstrated for the past 2 1/2 years were to work hard and have a positive attitude. I hope that we can all remember these things about Mr. Lauf and incorporate them in our life.

I’ll miss many things about Brent Lauf. Perhaps the single biggest thing I’ll miss is his “positive can do attitude.” He kept that attitude even when I visited him 3 weeks ago in the hospital.

Mr. Brent Lauf was an “Iron Man.” While he was recovering from surgery and while he was dealing with chemotherapy and radiation treatments, he just kept that positive attitude front and center. To me this is a true “Iron Man.”

A couple of years ago, Brent Lauf was very appreciative for what I wrote about him and the Girls Cross-Country Team in a “Counselor’s Corner” article. I was glad he liked it. Here is the quote:

“Congratulations to the Girls Cross Country Team! Second in the state is awesome! This fine performance demonstrates the dedication and perseverance that these girls have. The team seems like an extended family as they gather in the high school commons area in preparation for their after school run.

Congratulations to Coach ‘Iron Man’ Brent Lauf on being named ‘Coach of the Year!’ Second year in a row – you sure are doing something right. Keep up the great effort.

Team, way to make yourselves, your coach, and New Salem High School look great!”


Mr. Lauf was a great role model for us all – adults and students. He was like an athlete in an important tight competition. He didn’t lose his focus. He didn’t give up.

In closing, I hope we too can have a good plan, work hard, stay focused, and keep a positive attitude no matter what. He didn’t give up in life; lets not give up either.

P.S. Good-by Mr. Lauf.