Archived Story

Vet’s Day posters created by FFHS students

Published 12:07pm Wednesday, November 6, 2013

When Security State Bank managers decided to sponsor a Veteran’s Day event, they also looked for a unique way to draw attention to it. That’s where Margie Gettel came into play.

“We wanted to make sure we involved the community at large in the celebration,” she said. “It occurred to us that asking students to create posters to hang around town would not only give them a chance to display their artwork, but would also help us achieve that advertising aspect.”

Gettel eventually got in touch with Peder Butenhoff, an art teacher at Kennedy Secondary School, and asked him if he would be interested in having his students design some posters.

Butenhoff was on board with the plan and gave his students the option of working on the posters as either a replacement for a class project or as extra credit.

Gettel gave Butenhoff a few requirements for the posters: they had to have a patriotic theme, they had to include a picture of featured speaker John Kriesel’s book and have the date and time of Kriesel’s presentation. Other than that, the students were allowed creative freedom with their posters.

“From there, they just took it on themselves and came up with their own designs,” Butenhoff said.

Morgan Newkirk, Bailey Grewe and Tessa Wick were three of the four students who participated in the poster project. They worked on their posters for a few weeks before finishing them last month.

Newkirk changed her design a few times, while Wick’s poster was very close to her initial conception.

All three said they were happy with how their designs turned out. They were not the only ones.

“We have got such talented students in our school system,” Gettel said. “You could see they put a lot of thought and a lot of effort into it.”

Newkirk was named the overall winner of the poster contest and received a $50 bond from Security State Bank. Grewe and Wick both received $25 bonds for their work as well.

The posters are now hanging all over town, including many copies at the bank itself. The posters were hung on community bulletin boards, in churches and a grocery stores, according to Gettel.

Jim Kosmo, the co-author of Kriesel’s book “Still Standing,” will also be in attendance for Monday’s event. He met Kriesel several years ago and offered to help him write a book about his life story after hearing Kriesel speak to a group of children. Kriesel is an Iraq War veteran and former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Kosmo said Kriesel’s speeches usually focus on the power of positive thinking and overcoming adversity. Helping children is one of the more important things to Kriesel in his now-public role, according to Kosmo.

“It means everything to him,” Kosmo said. He’ll have people with tears in their eyes and just when they’re ready to burst out in tears, he’ll have them laughing,” he said.

Kriesel’s speech is set for 7 p.m. Monday at the KSS auditorium and is open to the public. Kriesel will also be speaking with KSS students specifically Tuesday during school hours.

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