By JANIE SOUTHARD
Celina High School cross country team, coach Lore Long and bus
driver Sue Barga received an impressive trophy and accolades
at Monday night’s board of education meeting.
Superintendent Fred Wiswell praised team members for their courage
and bravery in responding to an accident that occurred in front
of the bus on their way to a Labor Day track invitational. He
then introduced surprise guests: the accident victim Kevin Rudy
and his wife Sarah.
“There are no words to sum up my feelings. Thank you for
saving my husband’s life,” Sarah Rudy told team
members, who were seated in the front row of the high school
Kevin Rudy, bandaged and obviously banged up after the near-fatal
accident on U.S. 30 not far from I-75 near Beaverdam, approached
the microphone in his wheelchair.
“I know you were unable to attend the track meet, so I
want to present to you all this trophy. I wouldn’t be
here without your help,” Kevin Rudy said.
The trophy inscription reads: “To the Celina High School
Cross Country Team. Thank you for saving my life. Kevin Rudy.
Aug. 30, 2003.”
“This is an exceptional team. They’ve proved themselves
on and off the track. And, Kevin and Sarah, you’re now
part of our team, too,” Coach Long said accepting the
Long explained to the audience that the accident occurred when
Rudy’s car attempted to pass the Celina bus and collided
head-on with a westbound tractor trailer on U.S. 30.
Board member Mary Lehman pointed out that several of the students
had taken the applied physiology class at school.
“I would remind the community this is a special class
we offer and not a core class. There are those who say we don’t
need the special class. But, as you see, this one literally
can save lives,” Lehman said.
Each member of the team was recognized as he or she was called
on stage to receive a certificate of commendation from Wiswell
and board members.
also read a letter from the commissioner of the Ohio High School
Athletic Association praising the team and coaches for “good
citizenship in action.”
On another note, Wiswell and Celina Education Association President
Phil Long spoke fond remembrances of Bruce Strohl, middle school
teacher and coach, who died Saturday at Arthur James Cancer
Board members passed a number of Wiswell’s recommendations
regarding Tri Star Career Compact, including changes in instructor
contracts to provide morning and afternoon sessions in e-commerce
and the purchase of a Haulmark Trailer for the construction
This will replace the 18-wheel semi-trailer that was junked
two years ago, according to Tim Buschur, Tri Star director.
Only reserved capital funds will be used for the $4,037 purchase.
Board members also approved the Chicago field trip in April
for gifted students in fifth grade. Cost of the trip is approximately
$250 per person, which will be paid by the students and parents
who participate. No general fund money will be used.