A good man, a great educator, and a great community contributor died recently.
Peter Greenberg was a great educator. He made a positive impact on thousands of students, including me - and I wasn't even a student at his school.
I first met Greenberg in February 1998 at the Hamilton East Kiwanis Boys' and Girls' Club, where I was a referee at a basketball tournament.
Mr. Greenberg [as he was to me then] was there to cheer on his Dundas District teams as the Principal of the famed Dundas middle school.
The details are vague with time, but I remember the positive impression I had of him and an enjoyable discussion. I've met hundreds (thousands) of people, my first encounter with him is one I remember.
A few months later, Greenberg and I would be at the same times on transition committees for the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.
The forced amalgamation of the Wentworth County and old City of Hamilton school boards was unpopular. The transition committee meetings could be tense as the County and City factions fought to have the new Board adopt each of their ways.
I was 15 years of age, the only student on each of the committees I sat on, and usually had some naive idea that was different than the others.
I was a "City" person.
Greenberg was a great mentor to me during this time, and that mattered a lot to me as he was a "County" person.
He cared about the entire education system, understood the socio-economic advantages afforded to his Dundas school, and I remember always listening intently when he spoke.
While the exact details are long lost in my memory, I recall a discussion regarding access to enrichment programming for middle school students in which Greenberg spoke about the need for opportunities at Prince of Wales and Queen Mary School.
He contributed to the success of the new District School Board #21, what we know as the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board today.
Over the coming decades, I would see Peter at various community and charitable events.
I enjoyed our conversations about politics and always hoped to bump into him whenever I was in Dundas.
He made a positive impact on me in his role as an educator. He continued to be a mentor in the years which followed.
Peter's life is an example to us all. I will miss our conversations.