Middle Schoolers Help Surprise Principal with Outstanding Military Support Award

Sometimes being greeted by screaming middle schoolers can be a good thing.

Wednesday afternoon Principal Russ Riehl was honored with the Patriot Award at the Simle Middle school gymnasium, Principal Russ Riehl, Simle Middle School.

“There’s nothing better than sharing this with family and with your students and your staff because they are your family. And it’s the best of all worlds. It’s a pleasant surprise, but it’s the right work,” says Russ Riehl, principal of Simle Middle School.  

The award recognizes supervisors who give military workers flexible schedules to serve the country and grant leaves of absence to them when needed.  

Kalli Swenson teaches PE at Simle and has been working with Riehl for five years. She will be deployed to the middle east early next year and nominated him for the award because of his understanding of the demands of the job.

“Knowing that I can formally appreciate his support all these years. It’s a powerful thing and I’m glad the community is here to see,” she says.

Principal Reihl says Swensen’ll definitely have a job when she returns to the state. The both of them supporting the armed forces and inspiring students in their own special way.

“I think it’s really cool that she does that and that she can still come back and teach us too. it’s just inspiring and nice to know that she serves for us,” says Isabella Ternes, 8th Grader at Simle Middle School.

Kalli Swenson will be deployed to Afghanistan late January.

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