‘A truly great man’: Milt McPike dies at 68


McPike Battled Rare Adenocystic Cancer. After battling cancer, popular former Madison East High School principal Milton McPike died on Saturday night.
The Madison Metropolitan School District said that McPike passed away overnight at a hospice care facility, WISC-TV reported.
Family, friends, former staff and students said that they’re remembering McPike as a man many called an educational hero.
For 40 years, McPike made his life educating youth. He spent 28 of those years in the Madison school district. For five years, he was an assistant principal at West High School, then as principal at East High School for 23 years.
“I’ve seen so much success through kids who everybody else has given up on,” McPike said in a 1992 interview.
He shared his secrets on building relationships with his students.

Samara Kalk Derby:

Milton McPike, a giant in the Madison educational community, died Saturday night at HospiceCare Center in Fitchburg, surrounded by his family. He was 68.
At 6-foot-4, the former San Francisco 49er cut an imposing figure at East High School, where he served as principal for 23 years.
McPike was diagnosed with adenocystic carcinoma, a rare cancer that attacked his sinus area.
Superintendent Art Rainwater called McPike “a truly great man” and “an icon in our community.”
“Milt was first of all a tremendous person. He was obviously extremely well respected and a talented educator,” Rainwater said. “He led East for 23 years and really and truly was not only important to East High School, but was also important to our community.”
Even after he retired from East in 2002, McPike continued to contribute to the community by being a member of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents and recently heading a gang task force in Dane County, Rainwater said. “So his loss will be deeply felt.”

Clusty Search: Milt McPike.

3 thoughts on “‘A truly great man’: Milt McPike dies at 68”

  1. I had the great good fortune to have Mr. McPike for my HS Principal for an all too short time at Madison West in the early 1970’s. He always remembered our names and things about us. I’m not joking, he really did.
    I had later the great good fortune to have Mr. McPike speak at my son’s Kindergarten Graduation ceremony at Lapham Elementary…and I have never forgotten his words to us, and in fact have them on tape and have since then listened to them again on and off over the years. My son is now 15 and an East HS student. Mr. McPike said that when he was a kid no one was there for him. He would look out in across the auditorium or room at a school event and no one was there for him. He said, “Always be there for your children, you may think it doesn’t matter to them if you are there or not but it does…I would look out there and no one was there for me. No matter how old your child gets, know that they always will be looking out to see if you are there and it matters whether they are 5 or 35 or older. Be there for them.”
    …Thanks Mr.McPike for all you have been to Madison, and for making a difference in my life. I always looked for you and I will miss you.

  2. We have set up a photo tribute to Mr. McPikes life. If anyone has any photos they would like included you can email them to me or leave them @ classreport.org/usa/wi/madison/ehs/1985

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