Scottsdale family honored with tree dedication at Laguna Elementary

Bill Mack’s children, on left, David and Carol, with Jean Mack and Gary Shaprio at the April 18 tree dedication event at Laguna Elementary School. (Submitted photo)

The heavens were smiling down on Scottsdale Ranch’s Laguna Elementary School on April 18, when almost 150 neighbors, Scottsdale Unified School District administrators, teachers, students, community leaders, neighbors, friends and family gathered to dedicate a tree in honor of Bill and Jean Mack.

Mrs. Mack is a retired schoolteacher. She taught at Laguna Elementary from the day it opened three decades ago until her retirement.

Her husband, Bill, who died in 2017, devoted 50-plus years of community service to Scottsdale and its public schools, in a variety of capacities too numerous to recall, according to a press release.

Together, they were tireless and dedicated to the single goal of enhancing the lives of children in Scottsdale.

Retired Laguna Elementary Principal Katie Root recalled stories about the Macks. She said Jean was the consummate teacher and was honored one year as the Charro Teacher of the Year.

The plaque at Laguna Elementary honoring the Scottsdale family. (Submitted photo)

Mr. Mack visited the school often. Whether he was helping Jean decorate her classroom to keep it current and stimulating, or whether he was rallying community support for Laguna, he was a fixture at school.

Kathe Barnes, executive director of Scottsdale Ranch welcomed the celebrants during the April 18 event. She commented that Scottsdale Ranch and Laguna Elementary have supported each other from day one and the partnership thrives today, the press release stated.

Dennis Robbins, former City Councilman and current executive director of the Scottsdale Charros and Charro Foundation thanked everyone. Mr. Robbins spoke of the importance of long time relationships and the impact of leadership on Scottsdale’s schools and city.

Community Leader, former State Legislator, and former City Councilman Paul Messenger highlighted the Macks’ accomplishments over the past five decades.

Jim Bruner, former City Councilman and County Supervisor said the Macks were the epitome of selfless community service.

Longtime family friend Dave Hawkins, who probably has known the Macks longer than anyone else is attendance, saluted his friend and commented that it was fitting that the tree honoring the Macks was within eyesight of the American Flag, since Bill was the ultimate patriot.

Mr. Mack’s son David and daughter Carol, along with other family members, joined Jean to celebrate the event and share memories. The afternoon was full of hugs and joyful tears, the press release stated.

Gary Shapiro, fellow Scottsdale Charro to Mr. Mack served as the emcee for the dedication.

“The Mack family is beloved for all they’ve done in our community. Their friendship and mentorship has touched thousands of lives,” Mr. Shapiro said.

The tree honoring the Mack Family was made possible through the efforts of Scottsdale Ranch, the Scottsdale Unified School District, the Scottsdale Charros and by private donations.

Laguna Elementary School is at 10475 E. Lakeview Drive, in Scottsdale.

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