Spring Grove Public School’s 2013 American Education Week Citizens Recognition Award recipients are Carolyn Kampschroer, Bill Fried and Laurie Moen.  MARLENE DESCHLER/SPRING GROVE HERALD
Spring Grove Public School’s 2013 American Education Week Citizens Recognition Award recipients are Carolyn Kampschroer, Bill Fried and Laurie Moen. MARLENE DESCHLER/SPRING GROVE HERALD

For the past 30 years, Spring Grove School district has awarded the Citizens Recognition Award to many different individuals. Each November, one week is designated as American Education Week. This special week is nationwide and was first celebrated in 1921. The National Education Association (NEA) was one of the creators of the week and one of the original sponsors.

This week started after World War I when the NEA along with the American Legion saw a need to generate public support for education. Both groups "adopted resolutions of support for a national effort to raise public awareness of the importance of education." In the NEA resolution for this week, they called for "An educational week ... observed in all communities annually for the purpose of informing the public of the accomplishments and needs of the public schools and to secure the cooperation and support of the public in meeting those needs." This special week has continued to thrive. (www.nea.org)

This November marked the 92nd annual celebration of American Education Week. It gives schools and communities a time to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring every child receives a quality education. This year's recipients of the Citizens Recognition Award in the Spring Grove School district were Carolyn Kampschroer, Laurie Moen and Bill Fried.

"All of our recipients [of the 2013 American Education Week - Citizens Recognition Award] have contributed significantly to the value of great public schools," remarked Spring Grove School Superintendent Rachel Udstuen. "These three individuals have contributed over 94 years of combined service to our school district."

Carolyn Kampschroer began at Spring Grove Schools in 1985. She has been missed since she left as head cook. "She had a reputation for making some of the best school lunches in the area," added Udstuen with a smile. "She was also known for her warm, friendly smile and for building relationships with students.  We have missed seeing her daily in our lunchroom, are grateful that she left some great recipes behind, and appreciate her many years of service to the school district."

In 1978, elementary teacher Laurie Moen took her first teaching assignment at Spring Grove School district and stayed for her entire career. Throughout her time at Spring Grove, at some point she taught every elementary grade-level except for kindergarten, but spent most of her time in second grade.

"Laurie was known for a strong nature studies curriculum, starting a long and on-going relationship with a local nature expert, and bringing science to life in the classroom," said Udstuen.  "She was also an advocate for health education for all students. She believed strongly in the importance of character education and helping students learn to be responsible, caring and respectful citizens.  She valued educating the whole child."

Bill Fried took his teaching assignment at Spring Grove in high school English and speech/theater in 1980. During his time at Spring Grove as well as teaching, he also directed numerous plays and coached debate teams and speech team members. Notably, he was also the adviser for the senior class trip to Washington, D.C., for more than 25 years. He was also an active member of many committees in the district.

"We are pleased that Bill is going to continue to serve as senior class trip adviser with Mr. Lochner this year," said Udstuen. "Bill was always willing to pitch in when needed at school. He believes strongly in teaching students how to think and not just letting them memorize the right answer."

Udstuen presented all three award recipients with plaques of recognition amongst a grateful round of applause from the audience during an intermission at the Holiday Choir Concert.