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Saint Joe's Students Adopt a Highway in Memory of Late Teacher

by on May 12, 2018 5:00 AM

Students in the National Honors Society at Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy decided this year to use their annual group service project not only as a way to make a difference, but also honor the memory of a beloved teacher.

The students are participating in the Adopt a Highway program in honor of drivers education teacher Dave Erney, who died last year.

“It definitely meant a lot to me," said Jason Thomas, junior and vice president of NHS. "Every class we had with Mr. Erney he would ask us about everything that was happening in our lives. He genuinely cared about each and every one of us. I am glad that we were able to remember him in this way.”

Students adopted a 1-mile stretch of Warner Boulevard and committed to cleaning it up twice a year for the next two years. At their first clean-up on May 1, they collected 30 bags of trash.

"I remember when [Erney] would take us out in the community and we would watch drivers and talk about situations,” said senior Bryce Herman. “It was bittersweet watching the cars drive by and thinking that we are cleaning up the roads he taught us about. I miss him a lot."

Students designed their Adopt a Highway sign and quickly agreed it should include Erney's name and his trademark phrase, "God's speed."

"This project was meaningful to me because of my numerous fond memories of Mr. Erney," said senior Ana Legaspi. He was a truly wonderful man so I was happy to clean the roads on which he so thoughtfully taught us that 'driving is serious business.'"

Senior and Saint Joe's NHS President Katie McGraw said the project is special because all of the students had a connection with Erney.

“This project was something different than we have ever done before. It had a meaning to not just me, but to everyone in National Honor Society," McGraw said. "Mr. Erney was a teacher that we all had sometime in high school, and to do this service project in memory of him was something that was near and dear to our hearts.”


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