When I first met Chris Tully in 2011, it was like I had met a childhood hero that I never even knew I had. I don’t think most kids envision educators as heroes, but I felt just like a kid meeting a sports star or musician - except here he was, a colleague in our mutual profession. There I was, a grown man, watching in wide-eyed wonder as Chris Tully commanded a room and pulled people together and used everybody’s talents to create something magical. Man, I wanted to be that guy.
Yet, I know that there will never be another Chris Tully in whole. Even so, Tully touched so many people with his seemingly-boundless energy that I can’t help but see his brilliance reflected in so many other people. It’s as if we're glow-in-the-dark stars in a dark room, and Tully was a white-hot magnesium flashbulb that fired over and over and over. POW… POW… POW. The flashes from the single bulb are now gone, but in their place are now thousands of illuminated stars; the afterglow of the brilliance that was our friend Chris Tully.
Our task now is to glow as bright and as long as we possibly can with that luminescence, paying forward the surges of energy and inspiration that Tully gave us. We must also recognize and celebrate his brilliance when we see it reflected by others, as true luminaries point out the resplendence in others, that everyone may be able to enjoy a brighter world. We’ll miss you, Chris Tully. But we won’t have to look far to see your phosphorescent legacy radiating from all the people whose lives you’ve touched.