SOUTH WHITLEY — The year was 1979, and Joe Begley had just started as the Ag Teacher for Whitko Community Schools. It was a time before copy machines when students were recruited to make copies of the handouts. It was a time when calculators had only just became accessible to the masses and comprised of only four basic functions, and it was also the year Begley met his wife, Diane, Whitko’s business teacher, standing outside of the Whitko High School auditorium.

As fate would have it, Diane had car trouble that morning, and Joe quickly repaired her car. Two years later their friendship became a romance that blossomed into a marriage that has selflessly served the school and outlying communities without reservation.

“Over my thirty-three years of teaching a variety of subjects, I appreciated the efforts that the students put forth and have enjoyed watching the great accomplishments they have had through the years. I have also enjoyed the close caring community that exists in the Whitko Community Schools,” Begley said.

Begley served in many capacities throughout the years and even his 2 daughters would go on to receive the education from Whitko. “Whitko Community was a great place for us to raise our two daughters and the schools provided them with a great foundation to further their educations after high school.”

Whitko issued a statement Friday through their social media accounts saying, “Thank you Joe and Diane Begley for serving our communities for 38 wonderful years! We all wish you both the best of luck on your new adventure, come back and see us again soon!”

As a special tribute, Whitko honored Begley with the coveted “Best Week Ever” award through their regular video installment on Facebook entitled “Whitko Weekly.”