STC Class of 1971 dedicates memorial

The South Tama County Class of 1971 gathered in front of the STC High School on Sept. 10 to dedicate a memorial for all STC alumni who have passed away. Pictured are, front row (l-r): Rene Hatton, Nancy(Rutledge) Albertsen, Mark Barrett; middle row: Archie Jochims, Connie (Matheson) Smith, Laurel (Heller) Fryers, Cathy (Walker) Avery, Sue (Vale) Curtis; Supt. Jared Smith, Dick Duhacheck, Jane (Hyland) Murphy, Tom Ledvina, Gary Zmolek, Dave Hofer, Barry Sedlacek, Steve Hala, Steve Kirchner, Duane Meek, Corwyn Vokoun and Mike Smith. -- Photo by Darvin Graham

On a bright sunny day underneath the shade of a large tree, the South Tama Class of 1971 gathered to dedicate a memorial that stands for all former South Tama alumni who have passed away.

The class was the first to complete all grades in the current STC High School building that was opened in 1968 in Tama.

The dedication occurred to coincide with the Class of 1971’s 50 year class reunion celebration.

A ceremony was held on the afternoon of Sept. 10 in front of the high school building.

Addressing a crowd of around 30 were class members Steve Kirchner and Barry Sedlacek who spoke about what the memorial means to them and the importance of reconnecting with classmates that shared formative years together.

A memorial stone was donated and dedicated in front of STC High School on Sept. 10 by the Class of 1971. The stone reads, ‘In Memory of All the STC Alumni Who Have Passed.’ -- Photo by Darvin Graham

The class pooled donations and class reunion fees over a period of years seeking to make a donation back to the school that could cover a broad group of students, rather than a specific donation earmarked for a specific program or activity.

“This stone is for everyone in the STC District,” Sedlacek said. “Whether you only went to kindergarten and 1st grade and then had to move. Or if you quit school in 9th or 10th grade. Whether you went out for sports, played in the band, took shop class, was in FFA, science club, drama club or just went to STC to get an education. Whether you graduated or not. If you’re from Tama, Toledo, Chelsea or Montour, it doesn’t matter. If you went to school in the STC district, no matter how long; this stone is being given in honor of you. It’s for the memories that have been left behind for family and friends that are still with us.”

The memorial consists of a large rock with an inscription that reads, ‘In Memory of All the STC Alumni Who Have Passed.’

Superintendent Jared Smith also addressed the crowd, thanking them for their donation and introducing them to staff and administrators who were present.

During the weekend, the class took a tour of the newly renovated section of the STC High School and gathered at the Eagles club in Tama for a meal.

Class of 1971 Reunion Committee Members Barry Sedlacek (left) and Steve Kirchner (right) unveil the newly installed memorial stone located near the south front entrance of South Tama County High School. The stone was donated by the Class of 1971 and was dedicated at a ceremony on Sept. 10. -- Photo by Darvin Graham