middle school students in classroom wearing masks

Greg Kearney '74

Written by Greg Kearney

I attended Landmark when the school was newly founded. In fact my association with Dr. Drake precedes the founding of Landmark by several years. I left Landmark in 1974 to attend my remaining years of high school at the now-closed Oak Grove-Coburn School in Vassalboro, Maine. At the time Landmark was not able to graduate students and so nearly all of the early students had to go elsewhere to finish high school.

Greg Kearney Self-PortraitFollowing high school I was accepted as the first-known dyslexic student at Brigham Young University where I got a BFA in design and fell into the bad company of editorial cartoonists. Wink.

From BYU I got a job as the first, and as far as I am aware, only editorial cartoonist at the Casper Star-Tribune in Casper Wyoming. I along with the Casper Star-Tribune, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1985. Being a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize is rather like kissing your sister, it turns out to be a rather serious anticlimax. When the newspaper business took a turn due to competition from electronic media, I took a break from cartooning and worked in the area of alternative media production (talking books) in Perth Western Australia for a few years before returning to cartooning again, this time for the Topeka Capital-Journal in Topeka, Kansas.

I am married to Tamara Johnson. We have three grown children and five grand children. Boy, how did that happen? We live in Lawrence, Kansas home of KU basketball. It is about the hippest town in the state.

Because I was at the school at its inception, I remember the effort to build at the original campuses and the serious shortage of dormitory space that the school had in those years. For some reason, which escapes me even now, Roger Whynot, the Dean of Students, trusted me and a handful of other boys, to live in the various buildings that the school was acquiring in those years. This included such places as a trailer located behind the old sheet metal gym, rented dorm rooms from St. Johns School in Danvers, the North Campus buildings prior to them being converted to school use, and most notably, a gigantic house in Manchester. The house in Manchester had been used by rum runners in prohibition times and was a warren of passageways, storerooms, and what nots. Great fun for us boys.

I am grateful for what Landmark was able to give me. While I have to be truthful that I still do not enjoy reading and it remains a challenge, I AM ABLE to read. This is something no one would have ever imagined possible prior to my attending Landmark all those years ago. From time to time I give lectures on life as an adult dyslexic and how I came to have the best education that money could buy for someone with my learning disability. I’ll be forever grateful to Landmark School and am excited to see it thrive.

My cartoons can be seen at http://drawing-attention.blogspot.com/ or on twitter at @gkearney. Most of my work is focused on state and local issues. I rarely draw about national and world issues.


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