Carol Kinne, who channeled her idealism and her passion for diversity into programs that championed community service and cultural understanding among students at Park School, died of cancer at her home in Baltimore on March 9. The Mount Washington resident had just turned 65.
A former teacher and librarian whose career at Park totaled 36 years, Mrs. Kinne served most recently as coordinator of service days for students. She also directed a mentorship program that partnered older students with children in Park's lower school and co-founded an annual student bus trip to landmarks of the civil rights movement in the South.
"Anything that had to do with diversity at Park, Carol had a hand in it and in making it sustainable," said Traci Wright, the upper school dean of students who 11 years ago established with Mrs. Kinne the week-long bus trip to historic sites in Greensboro, N.C., Birmingham, Ala. and other southern cities. Students from Baltimore City College and City Neighbors High School also participate in the annual trip.
"Carol was a long-time diversity advocate and was always involved in issues of equality and justice," Ms. Wright said.
After several years as a librarian at Park, Mrs. Kinne embraced the community service position. "Her passionate commitment to an inclusive and diverse community allowed her to leave a lasting mark here at Park," said Dan Paradis, the head of school, in a letter to employees.
"She was, with the exception of members of my family, the first white person I knew to openly express the importance of issues of diversity," Jonathan Hettleman, a 2010 Park graduate, said. "Both then and now, I view Carol as an incredibly courageous, independent and important person."
Mr. Paradis said many students came to view Mrs. Kinne "as their touchstone" at Park.
He drew special attention to Mrs. Kinne's leadership in Park's Partners Program, a mentoring initiative that pairs lower school pupils from diverse backgrounds with middle or upper school students who encourage and support their younger "buddies" throughout the year. The program has been a particular benefit to minority students, Mr. Paradis said.
Born Carol Louise Peacock in Philadelphia to Quaker parents, Mrs. Kinne was a 1967 graduate of the Westtown Friends School in Pennsylvania and a 1971 graduate of Earlham College in Indiana.
After taking a job as a physical education instructor at Park, she met David A. Kinne, at the time a history teacher in the upper school. They married in 1972.
Mr. Kinne said his wife left Park for a few years in the late 1970s, returning in the early 1980s after working as a librarian at the Waldorf School.
For several years, Mrs. Kinne and a college friend operated an antiques store in Mount Washington Village, specializing in folk art, quilts and pottery.
But her first passion was education and what she saw as the special opportunity to influence students about diversity and inclusiveness at Park.
"Carol is the kindest and most ethical person I have ever known," Mr. Kinne said. "Students sent notes to us. One younger student wrote, 'She never let people be lonely.'"
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Kinne is survived by a son, Andrew D. Kinne of Baltimore, a daughter, Laura Kinne-Pal of Lahaina, Hawaii; two brothers, Jonathan Peacock of Madison, Wisconsin, and Joseph Peacock of Alexandria, Va., and two grandchildren.
Plans for a memorial service at Park School were incomplete as of Sunday evening.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun