Long after Jack Musgrave retired as a middle school principal in Lexington, he continued to work to close achievement gaps in Kentucky schools.
Musgrave, who lived in Lexington, died Tuesday. He was 78.
After he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2012, he educated people about the aggressive disease through his willingness to talk to others, his family said. He shared his story in a video on the UK HealthCare website so people could know more about cancer and its treatment options, his family said.
"My father had a special way of motivating and encouraging all of those who came in contact with him," said son Travis Musgrave. "He had a unique ability to bring out conversation in people that made them stretch their imagination and see new possibilities."
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Jack Musgrave was a teacher and administrator in Fayette County Public Schools for 33 years, retiring in 1996 as principal of Jessie M. Clark Middle School.
Mike Ball, a retired Jessie Clark teacher who works there as a substitute teacher now, said Musgrave was innovative.
Under Musgrave, Jessie Clark was "always on the cutting edge of technology and teaching trends," he said.
During his career, Musgrave served on many committees and was twice selected a Fayette County outstanding administrator, Travis Musgrave said.
After retiring, Jack Musgrave worked as a consultant with the district and with the Kentucky Department of Education, helping district and school staff to reduce barriers and close achievement gaps for disabled, minority and low-income students and others.
From 2002 through 2012, he worked for the state as a school and district improvement coach and consultant in 35 counties.
"Jack was one of the most respected educators in Kentucky," said Donna Tackett, a state Department of Education official who worked with him.
"He dedicated his career to doing what was best for kids. Long after he retired as principal in Fayette County, he continued to share his expertise in the area of school improvement with districts and schools across the state. He was an excellent leader and leaves a huge void in our field."
Educators looked up to him, said Lu Young, a former Jessamine County superintendent who recently retired as Fayette County's chief academic officer.
"The legacy he left for Kentucky schools in terms of his work at the district level and the state level would be really important," Young said.
Musgrave received awards for his work to increase achievement for all students in Kentucky, Travis Musgrave said.
He also worked with the Louisiana Department of Education's school improvement initiative to train Louisiana educators in using the Kentucky Model for School Improvement.
He was a member of the Fayette County and Kentucky Parent Teacher Associations, the Kentucky Association of School Administrators, and the National and Kentucky Middle School Associations.
In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife, Gayle Short Musgrave; two other children, Ashley Musgrave Rushing and Jason Musgrave; seven grandchildren; and two brothers.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Southern Hills United Methodist Church. Visitation will be 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at the church and from 10 a.m. until services Saturday.