Former USD 443 superintendent Alan Cunningham’s sudden death shocked the community on Tuesday, but Dodge City High School principal Jacque Fiest made a profound statement when talking about Cunningham.

"The bond passage and the construction going on now at all schools is his legacy," she said.

We agree.

While Cunningham had a long career with USD 443, we see the extended construction at our schools to be a legacy to be proud of. Cunningham led the charge for the bond issue, stating that with uncertainty over school funding from the Legislature and a change coming to how much money would be available after July 1, the bond issue passed in June of 2015.

Since then we’ve seen the work done at various schools, with some, like Dodge City High School, adding several buildings.

We’d like to offer the suggestion that one of the new buildings at a school be named after Cunningham. His loyalty to Dodge City and USD 443 should be recognized by the school district in a meaningful way and what better way to do so than this. If his legacy is the bond issue and the expansion of the various schools, let’s honor that legacy by permanently putting his name on it.

Cunningham was a Dodge City advocate, serving on many boards. He pushed for the well being of all Dodge City citizens — especially children.

While we will all miss his contributions to the community, his presence and his wit, let’s remember him for the great Dodge City man he was. As much as Bat Masterson meant to Dodge City’s law enforcement, Cunningham meant to Dodge City’s education.

Like Masterson, Cunningham deserves to be remembered for the great things he did for Dodge City.