The Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD community is mourning the loss of John Mathews, a longtime teacher, administrator and most recently member of the CFBISD Board of Trustees.
Mathews died Wednesday at the age of 73.
Mathews came to CFBISD in 1970 as a history teacher at Perry Middle School, according to the district. Known as “Coach Mathews” he later became an assistant principal at R.L. Turner High School and then moved to Creekview High School in 1998. He retired from Creekview in 2007.
"Coach Mathews devoted over fifty years of his life to our teachers, staff, and students," Superintendent John Chapman said. "His years of service in our schools and our community are greatly appreciated, and he will be deeply missed."
District leaders said Mathews may have been known best for his voice – he was the stadium announcer at Standridge Stadium for 43 years.
For the last nine years he had been a member of the school board.
Those who knew him said regardless of his role he always wanted to help children succeed.
“He was driven by what he believed to be in the best interest of the kids,” said Les Black, president of the CFBISD Board of Trustees. “He was absolutely committed to Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD and the community.”
Black, who said he knew Mathews for more than 20 years, said Mathews was admired during his days as a teacher, coach, administrator and trustee, but he said even after retirement he continued to show his passion for teaching as he began teaching students how to drive.
“When you find someone who has that, it stays with you for a long time,” Black said.
Black said Mathews’ personality was as big as his love for teaching.
“He had a larger-than-life presence,” Black said. “He had a great sense of humor, he loved to laugh and he was enthusiastic about life. He was fun to be around.”
Then there was his voice.
“He was gifted with a booming voice,” Black said, “whether it was when he was announcing at the stadium or singing in the church choir.”
Mathews was set to step down from the board this May, and his position will be filled by the winner of Saturday’s election.
“John was a man who made a big difference in the community,” Black said. “That’s why so many people are heartbroken. He touched so many lives.”