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Campbellsport News • February 9, 2012 • Page 13

School District Reacts To Tragic News By Andrea Hansen Abler The Campbellsport School District had to put a plan into action that they thought they may never have to use. This past weekend the community suffered a great loss when three Campbellsport High School students were killed as the result of a car accident and six other students were injured in the same accident. The accident happened at 3:34 a.m. early Saturday morning, Feb. 4, on Beechnut Road. Kristen Langer, high school principal, was awaken on Saturday morning at 5:07 a.m. with a phone call. Fond du Lac County Sheriff Liaison Officer Dean Schelinske called Langer to tell her about the accident and the fact that two of the nine students involved were pronouced dead at the seen. Langer quickly called District Administrator Dan Olson. “We both agreed we needed to get to the school right away,” Olson said. “We were informed right away there were two deaths.” As they got to school, both Olson and Langer looked at the 30-page crisis plan for the district. It didn’t fit this exact situation, but they knew it would be a blueprint for what needed to be done. They were reeling from the news of the tragedy, but they both knew they had to focus on the students and the families of the girls involved in the accident. “Once we got here (the school building), we had a job to do,” Olson said. “We unlocked the doors right away.” Counselors and other staff members arrived at the school to help. They held a quick meeting to discuss what needed to be done and then they all did what they needed to help the students. “I think the counselors went down at 9 a.m.,” Olson said. Without even knowing the school would be open, many students started arriving at the high school in disbelief, shock and wondering what had happened and who had been involved. Olson and Langer knew that the school is a safe place for students and that this is where they would most likely congregate to deal with this horrible tragedy. As students arrived, counselors and staff mem-

bers talked with the them and did what they could to help each student come to grips with what had happened. These counselors and staff members were at the school all day Saturday and Sunday helping students. “We can’t say enough about our counseling staff,” Langer said. Langer stressed that they did an exceptional job helping the students. She also praised all of the teachers and staff members who came in to help. Everyone went the extra mile this past weekend and all week for the students of the Campbellsport School District. “Most of the staff came in on the weekend,” Langer said. Many of the teachers and staff were at the school into the night on Sunday. They along with hundreds of students and community members turned out for a candlelight vigil that was held in the courtyard at 7 p.m. A few people spoke at the vigil, but the main focus for everyone was to just be together and try to be there for one another as the entire community tried to sort this tragedy out in their minds. There were many tears shed and tons of hugs to go around that night. On Monday morning, kids started to file into school for the first official day of classes since the accident. Before school started, the teachers were given a classroom announcement to read to all the students at the beginning of the day. It told them about the accident and that it is okay to grieve in different ways and offered counseling for those who felt they needed it. The announcement also talked a little bit about each of the three girls who was killed. It read, “Caitlin was a student involved in volleyball, soccer, basketball, choir and was a member of Youth Leadership. Caitlin wa s a sincere person who never had anything bad to say about anyone. She always had a smile on her face. “Sabrina was involved in volleyball and soccer. She was an outgoing person and had a large circle of friends. “Katie was involved in soccer, volleyball, Spanish club and FCS. Katie was a fun-loving, honest girl who freely spoke her mind. She was a friend to everyone.” To help the district, three

counselors from the School Kewaskum District, two from the Lomira School District and one from Shepherd of the were at Hills Campbellsport High School to help students. They were scheduled to be at the school all week as needed for the students. Also on Monday, Matt Doll from Agnesian HealthCare came to the school later in the day to meet with teachers and staff members. He worked with them and answered any questions they had on how to helpthe students. Olson and Langer stated on Monday that the students seemed to be doing okay. They were all handling the situation a little differently, but everyone grieves in different ways. “I would say there is every level present,” Langer said. The highlights of the day was when they would hear a little bit of laughter. Students would start talking about the girls involved in the accident and talk about the good memories they had of them and that brought a few smiles and laughs. One thing that both Langer and Olson were very appreciative of was the community involvement and kindness of everyone. Many different people and businesses donated food and other items to the school over the weekend. This helped keep the staff and students nourished as they sat at school and tried to deal with this. Others have offered to help in whatever way they can this week. “The biggest thing to me has been the community support,” Langer said. “It’s jut incredible.” But, no matter what, Olson and Langer want to make sure the focus this week stays where it needs to be — with the families of the girls. They want to make sure that everyone supports and thinks about all the families who were directly affected by this tragic accident. So, please keep the Berg, Scannel, Stahl, Adams, Flood, Harbin, Anderson, Fricke and Ottery families in your thoughts this week. They will need all the support they can get this week and the weeks and months to come. This is a tough time for everyone, but as a community, we can try to help them all get through this difficult time!

A cross and many bouquets of flowers have been laid at the site of a fatal accident this weekend that killed three Campbellsport High School students. Nine students were riding in a SUV when it crashed. The entire community is coping with this tragic loss and trying to help the families of those involved in the accident. photo by Andrea Hansen Abler

The Plymouth High School principal hands a card to Campbellsport High School Principal Kristen Langer, Associate Principal Lance Beyer and Dean of Students Adam Spiegel on behalf of the Plymouth students. They also donated the proceeds from Tuesday night’s basketball game against the Cougars to Campbellsport for a memorial scholarship fund. photo by Dan Miller

Plymouth High School students showed their support for Campbellsport High School students during such a tragic time by wearing Cougar colors during the boys basketball game ay Plymouth on Tuesday, Feb. 7. photo by Dan Miller

Thoughts From Afar It was pointed out to me on Tuesday, that Campbellsport received some pretty big support this week. If you are a friend or have “liked” Donald Driver’s Facebook page you may have seen the following message. Though he no longer

owns a business in town, this Green Bay Packer still is thinking of Campbellsport in this tragic time. It just proves what a stand-up guy he is. Driver wrote the following message on his Facebook page, “My condolences and prayers go

out to the students and families affected by the tragic car crash in Campbellsport, WI. My friend’s daughter was in the accident, and I will continue to pray for her and all of the people and families involved. God bless.”

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Campbellsport News, 2-9-12, page 13