BY MELANIE BUCK –
A dedication ceremony was held last Friday, September 25, at Holly Harshman Elementary for Donna Seals, a cherished and deeply missed teacher that lost her life in a car accident on May 18, 2015.
Principal Tamara Smart and staff of HHE said many kind words to those in attendance at the dedication, including Seals’ family, close friends, and students. A bench has been placed on the playground at Holly Harshman Elementary in her honor. In addition to the bench dedication, a balloon release was also held.
As 5th grade teacher, Holly Montgomery, told the story of why they chose a bench to honor Seals, there were a mixture of smiles and tears. Montgomery told of it being the end of the school year and that she and Mrs. Smart took their kids to the playground for extra recess and Mrs. Seals was already outside with her class. Mrs. Seals ask some of the children to go around the building and get ‘the bench’ so the teachers could sit while the students played. The ladies remember Mrs. Seals commenting how she wished the bench had a back.
“Mrs. Seals was amazed that day at how green the grass and clover was. She actually commented that she wished she could bring her horses up here to let them graze and enjoy it. She then proceeded to tell us how beautiful and fluffy the clouds looked, how blue the sky seemed, and just how tired she was,” Montgomery explained. “We asked her when she was going to retire and she said, ‘why would I? I love teaching!’ She added that when she did retire, she would love to live with her sister and bring all of her family with her.” The day of the dedication, Friday, September 25, marked the birthday of Mrs. Seals and her twin sister, Vonda Browning, who was also in attendance.
Montgomery went on, “This same beautiful, breezy, fluffy cloud day was the day that Mrs. Seals left us for her eternal home in heaven. Our hearts were broken but the legacy she left was immeasurable. She truly left us with so many happy memories, with words of wisdom, and her spark for life lives on in her students, friends, and family. Today we dedicate this bench, with a back, in honor and memory of our dear friend, Mrs. Seals. When WE sit down, may we always remember her shining light, smile, funny sense of humor, and her love for US!”