The Arthur and Hazel Okland family
As a way of saying Thank You on Americain Education Week, the 1998 Friends of Education award was presented to Arthur and Hazel Okland. They have been longtime residents of the Jewell/Randall area and have supported the school in many different ways. Family members representing Art and Hazel were on hand to receive the award in their behalf because Art continues to recover from a stroke and back surgery. Hazel is his bedside nurse and constant companion.
South Hamilton Education Association president Kim Heugerich (pictured at left) openned the award ceremony at the 17th annual Friends of Education Tea on November 18, 1998. Present at the ceremony were South Hamilton faculty and guests and former recipients of this award. A plaque was presented following a description of the Okland's supporting activies by Cindy Riedeman (pictured at the right). All present were then treated to an informal snack and visiting time.
Arthur served on the school board of Randall and South Hamilton in the 50's and 60's including the times of reorganization and the building of the new school. He was instrumental in having the school centrally located in Jewell and was always interested in the education of the youth in our four communities. He stood up for teachers' rights and was always willing to listen to parents and students.
In addition to attending music concerts, speech contests, musicals, school plays, swing choir shows, all-state music and speech activities, the Oklands have been special supporters of South Hamilton athletics. They attended the first South Hamilton girls' trip to the state basketball tournament. They were always willing to give students rides to games or practices. They often took the entire girls team out for lunch following a game, and would travel in any weather to support the South Hamilton teams. Their support continued even when their children and grandchildren had graduated.
Hazel, with training to be a teacher, was a volunteer reader in the elementary school even before there was a volunteer program. She was often seen in school bringing treats for her grandchildren to share with the class.
Art and Hazel have always seen the value in a good education and encouraged their daughters and grandchildren to continue their education after high school.