Addie Petersen: Friend of A-A Schools

Friday, January 13, 2012
Addie Petersen, the first recipient of the "Friend of Alta-Aurelia Schools" award, with retired superintendent Fred Maharry and present superintendent Lynn Evans. / Lorri Glawe

Addie Petersen was recognized at a home basketball game last week as the first recipient of the "Friend of the Alta-Aurelia Schools" award.

Over the last several years, Addie provided funds for one side of bleachers at the now high school gym, one of the two scoreboards, a large display case outside the gym and annually provides a scholarship for an Alta student. In addition, she was very active on committees and helping get information out to the community for the bond issue that built the new gymnasium and former new middle school classrooms (now high school classrooms).

She was introduced by Alta-Aurelia superintendent Lynn Evans and escorted to the floor by retired superintendent Fred Maharry.

"The idea for this was brought to me by a few community members," said Supt. Evans. "I think it is an outstanding way to recognize patrons for their work in supporting our local school and something that is probably well overdue. Often times these people go largely unrecognized and this is just a small way to show our appreciation for all they have done."

The name "Friend of the Alta-Aurelia Schools" was chosen so that this award can be presented to individuals or organizations. The nomination process is simply a general nomination; names can be brought forward from the community or community organizations and presented to the administration. It is hoped the award can be presented annually during an early January home high school sporting event.

Alta - and especially the school - is very dear to Addie. She is a 1931 graduate of Alta High School. Addie and her husband Harvey were educators in a number of schools and together they tallied up 73 years in the educational setting - she as a music teacher and he has a coach and superintendent. The couple retired in 1970 and moved to her family's farm in rural Alta.

It was in 2004 that she came forth with her donation to the then new gym, in memory of her husband, a man who she said, "always played by the rules and expected teamwork." She was present at the school when a host of volunteers of all ages took time to assemble the bleachers and was in awe of their "team work."

At the time, Supt. Maharry called the gift "amazing" and added, "It would have been difficult for us to have made the purchase on our own. The whole community will benefit from this gift."

Also at the time of the donation, Addie said she was happy to be able to share the gift with the school and the community.

"I had a wonderful education while I was here. We had the best teachers and the best classes. The good Lord puts you in this earth and for as long as you're here you're supposed to do something and enjoy it."

And she truly is enjoying it.

She attends all of the home basketball games - sitting on the top row where there is not only a back rest but the best view in the house to see all the action.

She also is a great supporter of the school music program and enjoys attending the many concerts.

Supt. Evans again thanks Addie for her support of the school.

"Every school needs people, like Addie, to step forward, to provide donations or even volunteer their time. We all appreciate what she has done for our school very much."