Our Union and our school district lost a great friend last week. Retired Cleveland Heights High School teacher and coach, Ed Esch, passed away April 12, 2012. He was sixty-nine years old.
First and foremost, Ed was truly a gifted educator. Over the course of his career in Cleveland Heights he taught German, English, and Psychology. He was loved and respected and admired by students, colleagues, and parents.
Ed was a scholarly and learned man whose sense of humor and gregarious personality complimented his intellectual depth. During a difficult period in our 1983 strike Ed learned that the parking lot of a local catholic church was to be an assembly point for strikebreakers. Ed protested to the diocese by citing a 19th century papal encyclical that supported the right of workers to organize.
Ed also served the students of our high school as a football and wrestling coach. Ed’s success as a coach was not a matter of win loss statistics, but rather it was based on the long-lasting relationships he built with students that always placed academics above athletics.
Ed was an ardent Union activist. He served our local as high school chief steward and 3rd Vice-President up until his retirement in 2000. Ed was always there to support, comfort, and advise his high school colleagues. As a member of the first high school TAP Committee he understood the value and need to collaborate, yet he was unrelenting when he encountered injustice. When a high school teacher’s assertion of academic freedom was attacked, it was Ed who led the high school staff in the vote of no confidence in the high school administration.
Family was of utmost importance to Ed. He was a devoted and caring husband, father and grandfather. Ed Esch was one of a kind. He left us way too soon. We extend our sympathies to the family of our brother, Edward Esch.
Tom Schmida, President