BP principal: ‘We have to stick together’
With purple hearts over his shoulder on his office window, Blooming Prairie Elementary School Principal Chris Staloch said the staff, students and community must "stick together."
He was reflecting on ways students, parents, staff and community must deal with the loss of an elementary teacher and student.
First grade teacher Rachel Harberts and her daughter Emerson, 8, died from injuries suffered in a two-vehicle crash near Claremont on Highway 14 on Sept. 7. They were laid to rest in a double funeral Thursday at a church in Rochester.
Since that time, the staff, students and community have wrapped their arms around one another to carry on in honor to those lost. Son Jaxon is still recovering at a Rochester hospital.
"We must remember the great things they have done and for who they are," Staloch said. "We have a very good staff here, people who care and want to make the school better."
He also said he and others were proud to wear two bracelets in honor of Rachel and Emerson.
Talking about Rachel as a teacher, Staloch said she cared for kids and strived to be a better teacher. "She cared for kids and was always involved in everything at school. She wanted to make our school better and she did."
Staloch and Harberts taught together as first grade teachers early in Harberts' education career.
Both Emerson and Jaxon, Staloch said, worked hard and did the right things in school supported by a good attitude.
"We are very fortunate to live where we do; the community has been wonderful,” Staloch said. “Support has been shown inside and outside of our community. Former staff members have reached out as have other community members."
Staloch said the community efforts to support the Harberts family "have been wonderful."
Many fundraising efforts are under way with the Go Fund Me campaign already raising over $50,000 with a goal of $100,000.