School: Thorp Middle School - 3 Generations of Students (2012)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Neumueller, Dietrich, Smriga

----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark Co., WI) 3/14/2012

Three Generations of Students (Thorp Middle School - 2012)

Karen Dietrich and Craig Dietrich in back and Dakota Dietrich, and Judy Smriga, teacher in front.

It’s a special occasion when many generations within a family get together for a commemorative photo, but it’s not very often that you see a multi-generation student photo!

As the 2011-2012 school year commenced, one Thorp Middle School instructor realized that she was the first to have three generations of students from one family in their classroom.

Judy Smriga, the Middle School science instructor, originally welcomed Karen (Neumueller) Dietrich, class of 1979, when she was in middle school class in the former Thorp School building. Karen’s son, Craig Dietrich, class of 1998, was Mrs. Smriga’s second generation student. Craig was a part of one of the classes that attended both the former school building and the newly constructed elementary school. Finally, at the start of the 2011-2012 school year, Smriga recognized Dakota Dietrich as the son of Craig’s—realizing she was the first teacher who has welcomed three generations in the Thorp School District’s history.

“By this point, someone [from a family] has moved away—but they’re all still here!” said Mrs. Smriga as the three generations gathered in her class room for a commemorative photo. The Dietrich family presented Mrs. Smriga with a certificate of appreciation for her dedication as a teacher, especially for their family.

“She is such a good, supportive teacher,” added Karen Dietrich.

Smriga has taught at Thorp Middle School for a total of 42 years and plans to retire this year.



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