Plans taking shape for 50-year school's celebration
Since she was 3 years old, Beth Monson has considered Hammond her home.
Her father Veldon "Doc" Monson was a doctor in town for 18 years and her mother Mary had a yarn shop in the family's basement.
Monson said her future was influenced by St. Croix Central teachers, and knew by her junior year of high school that she wanted to be a family and consumer education teacher, although back in the day it was referred to as home economics.
Monson graduated from St. Croix Central High school in 1969 and went to UW-Wisconsin Stout, where she received a bachelor's degree in family and consumer education.
After graduating from college, Monson taught in River Falls for one year before taking a teaching position at SCC.
Monson taught family and consumer education for 36 years before medical issues required she retire early in March 2008.
While teaching at SCC, Monson said she strived to "inspire students to learn," and "be there for them."
"I hope, SCC students gained a positive foundation and went on to achieve their goals and dreams," she said. "If I made a positive difference in my students' lives, I accomplished one of my life goals."
Medical issues in 2007 and 2008 caused Monson to miss a number of days in the classroom, leaving her students with multiple substitute teachers while she was gone.
Monson said constantly being gone "wasn't fair to the students."
She said she could no longer physically do her job and knew that retiring early was necessary to be fair to her students and the district.
"It was difficult for me to retire."
Monson said she was not ready to leave the school and teaching community she loved.
She said she misses the daily interaction with the students and staff at SCC.
"There was never a dull moment, it never got boring because you always got new students," Monson said.
The St. Croix Central schools have been a big part if Monson's life, she said she is happy she "bloomed where (she was) planted."
When Monson received a call from SCC Superintendent David Bradley last September about possibly setting up the upcoming 50-year celebration, Monson said she was more than up for the challenge.
"I took ownership," of planning the 50-year celebration, Monson said.
She said the planning process has kept her busy, but a good kind of busy.
"It's been good for me to have a project," she said.
Monson has planned the 50-year celebration for the weekend of Sept. 23.
So far, Monson has small group gatherings for various graduate classes, meeting at various locations Friday night in Hammond and Roberts.
Monson said the small groups will allow alumni to "reconnect, reminisce and socialize" with friends and classmates from the past.
Monson is thankful for the many local businesses participating in the event. "Every place was very supportive," Monson said.
For a list of the various gathering locations, separated by class levels, go to the St. Croix Central School District website, and click on the 50-year celebration tab on the left side of the screen.
For Saturday afternoon, Monson has planned a variety of events like tours, concerts, a program and slideshow in various locations throughout the district.
The reunion reception is planned for Saturday, Sept. 24, at 6:30 p.m. at Ready Randy's in New Richmond. Additional information, including directions, entertainment and menu items, can be found on the district website.
In addition to the Saturday night dinner social and Friday night reunions, Monson said a few area businesses have shown interest in sponsoring a golf tournament or run.
Monson wants to get the word out about the reunion as early as possible so those alumni living out of state have enough time to make travel arrangements.
Monson said some people suggested having the reunion during Heartland or Good Neighbor Days, but she decided against it, because "I didn't want to take away from those two celebrations."
Others asked why both days of the celebration weren't being held in Hammond or Roberts.
"There's no place in the district to hold that many people. That is why we are having all the small group gatherings in Hammond and Roberts on Friday night," she said.
Word of mouth
The event, if successful, could draw 500 alumni back to the area for the weekend.
Although Monson has worked diligently to contact as money people as possible through the school district's website, district newsletter and Facebook, she said word of mouth is the best way to ensure the greatest number of people are aware of and participate in the big reunion event.
"There's no way I could mail out to that many people," Monson said.
Monson has enjoyed planning the 50-year reunion but says she welcomes any suggestions or assistance from others in the community.
"I've just got the ground work done, there is a lot left to do," Monson said.
Planning the big reunion requires a lot of time, but "It's worth it for me and whoever comes (to the event)," Monson said.
Monson said she is not going to worry about the number of people who attend the reunion. She just wants everyone who does come, to "have a really good time."
For information about event locations and times, go to the SCC website at http://www.scc.k12.wi.us/ and click on the 50-year celebration tab on the left side of the screen. A reservation form and T-shirt order form can also be found on the district website.
Reservation forms can be dropped off at any of the SCC school offices or mailed to SCC 50-year Event, P.O. Box 118, Hammond, WI, 54015.
For questions about donating or volunteering, contact Monson at 715-307-0697 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Monson welcomes any suggestions the community has concerning the event.