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Student Council

Gene Stechschulte 2019 Award - Miss Mary Grote

Jan 16, 2019
Category: Administration
Posted by: KahleJ

Miss Mary Grote is the recipient of the 2019 Gene Stechschulte Award. Miss Grote is probably best known as a third grade teacher to hundreds of students at Kalida Elementary, but her contributions outside of the classroom continue to have a lasting impact to many young people of Kalida.

In the four years of this award, Mary has received more nominations than any other person. Adriene Swyers, one of those former third grade students, was the first to nominate Mary and said about her, “Miss Grote expects the best from her students, but she also encourages kids to reach their best. Memories of my third grade year are still quite vivid to this day. She selflessly dedicates her time, talents and resources to the kids in Kalida without expecting anything in return.” Jim and Susie Burgei also nominated Mary and shared these thoughts, “ Mary has taught and influenced generations of Kalida youth the importance of respect, integrity in oneself, and the importance of learning all you can from your surroundings and the world.”

Mary’s brother, Joe, and sister-in-law Nancy, also nominated Mary. They pointed out not only her longevity as a teacher, but she continues to touch lives by teaching religion classes and supporting Kalida Wildcat athletics. She attends many events and supplies many of the athletes with ‘treats’ in reward for their team efforts.

Two of Miss Grote’s closest friends, Pat Broecker and Maggie Courtright, also nominated Mary this year.

Miss Broecker pointed out that Mary started and coached the first girls’ basketball team at Kalida because the senior girls asked and she accepted the challenge; getting their first uniforms and lining up officials. One of those officials was Gene Stechschulte. Pat also said Mary coached the high school softball team, along with helping out with the PC Pacers. “From being a ‘Rooter Tooter’ fan to being a spectator in the stands, to being a ticket taker, she supports the youth in a positive and enthusiastic way”, Miss Broecker said.

Maggie agreed with Mary’s support of Kalida’s sports teams, and in addition, noted that Mary often attends various events that involved her students, present and past. Just recently, knowing one of her former students now in high school was going through a rough patch, she made it a point to attend one of his games, specifically to encourage him. Maggie also noted, “It isn’t just sports…She still attends most spring musicals. Mary also serves on several scholarship committees, a duty she takes very seriously.” Maggie also points out that Mary has been very generous over the years with donations to students, from perhaps paying for a school lunch so a child could eat to giving larger amounts for benefits and fundraisers.

The common thread of everyone who nominated her for this award is the fact that Mary has always cared deeply about the individual children and the youth she served. In her exact words, “I love it when former students come back and I get a chance to talk with them.” Gene felt the same way!

Miss Grote will receive the Gene Stechschulte Award at halftime of the boys’ varsity basketball game on February 8, 2019.

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