Mark Tulchinsky

Tarkington Traditional School Principal Mark Tulchinsky devoted nearly 40 years of his life to the education of South Bend's youth. And even after all that time, he never forgot a name. He had a knack of looking past a person's gray hair and crow's feet and seeing the child he taught so many years ago.

Tulchinsky, who would have turned 61 this weekend, died early Tuesday afternoon. He was in his office and medical efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

A graduate of Adams High School, Tulchinsky earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and his master's from the University of Notre Dame. In 1968 he began his teaching career in South Bend at Perley Elementary. Since then he has served as a principal at Jefferson and Monroe elementary schools and for the past six months at Tarkington.

Tulchinsky loved sports and began officiating basketball games in 1970 and football games in 1972. He continued to officiate sporting events in the area for more than 30 years.

His absence will be noticed almost immediately at Notre Dame as the women's basketball team plays tonight. Tulchinsky was a timer for both football and basketball games at Notre Dame. His wife, Nan, who retired recently as the South Bend Community School Corp.'s athletic director, is the official scorer.

Tulchinsky's passing is a great loss to the community he was intent on serving.

Published in South Bend Tribune from Jan. 22 to Feb. 28, 2008