Kenneth F. Mussari, Carroll's longtime school personnel director anda former English teacher, will be remembered as an enthusiastic and energetic administrator and as an exemplary individual.
"He truly loved and cared about the school system," said Superintendent R. Edward Shilling. "He enjoyed a reputation as someone who was very dedicated and committed. He worked tirelessly for the good of the system."
Mussari, who began his education career with Carroll schools 35 years ago, died Saturday in Florida, where he and his family had traveled to see Penn State play in the Blockbuster Bowl. Mussari, 56, was an avid Penn State fan.
Survivors include his wife, Shirley, a retired Carroll home economics teacher, and three grown daughters.
"Idon't know anyone who was more dedicated to his job and the system than Ken," said board President T. Edward Lippy. "He was very valuableto the system and will be very much missed."
His dedication was evident in his unwillingness to retire. School officials said Mussari could have retired four or five years ago with full retirement benefits, but refused to do so.
"The system was very, very important to him," Shilling said.
Mussari began his career as an English teacher at Mount Airy Middle School. He also taught English at North Carroll High School, where he eventually became head of the English Department. He later served as vice principal at Westminster High School before moving to the system's central office in the mid-1970s.
"His contributions as a teacher and as a building vice principal touched the lives of many young people," Shilling said. "He had a positive attitude and did whatever it took to do the job."
The superintendent said Mussari's most notable contribution to the school system is evident in the classrooms he left behind years ago.
"He has played a significant role in the outstanding staff that we have in the school system," Shilling said. "Most everybody that has been hired in the past14 years, Ken was a part of through recruiting, processing applications or making recommendations.
"As exceptional as he was as an educator, people really admired him because he was more exceptional as aperson," Shilling added. "His family was the most important thing inhis life. A lot of people that knew him in the community admired that about Ken."
Mussari was a former president of St. John Parish Council and served in many capacities, ranging from lector to Eucharistic minister in the church, said Monsignor Joseph C. Antoszewski.
Antoszewski said Mussari, who was a parish member for more than 35 years and whose children attended St. John School, also served as chairman of the school board of the Baltimore Archdiocese, which includes St. John Parish.
"He was very, very active," Antoszewski said. "Hewas very generous with his time and with his talents."