(Orange, Texas)

March 2, 2012

A warm goodbye to Mr. Welch

Gabriel Pruett
The Orange Leader


This weekend’s editorial is coming from a personal level to a man who I have always held in high regard. 
Mr. Phillip Welch announced he will resign as superintendent of Orangefield ISD soon and move into a new phase in his life.
A few months back I joined the Bridge City/Orangefield Rotary Club. I soon learned rotarians call each other by first name and leave off the Mr. and Mrs.
There was one person in particular who I simply could not and will never do this with and that is Mr. Welch. He is Mr. Welch and somehow in my mind he deserves that respect from me.
This man did a lot for Orangefield in his time. Take a look back at the photos which have run in The Orange Leader through the years and he is seen with the students and teachers at every level. Mr. Welch even drove a bus when it was needed. 
Many of you know I have covered hundreds of basketball games during my time here at The Leader and many of those were girls’ games.
I have unfortunately seen a lot of empty seats at these games as well. There may only be one or two Orangefield Lady Bobcats’ games that I can remember Mr. Welch not sitting at the scoring table keeping the book.
Take a second to recall what was just written. I just described a superintendent driving a school bus and keeping score at the girls’ basketball game.
Mr. Welch, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 
You were there this year when Orangefield needed you the most through several tough tragedies and I personally saw the concern and hours of lost sleep in your face the next Thursday at Rotary. 
I speak for all at The Leader when I say we will miss you.
Enjoy some time off and relax a little. You deserve some time in a recliner watching some television.
Gabriel Pruett