By MIKE COURSON
Great Bend Post
Sheryl Neeland made a career of helping students and families in the Great Bend school district. Prior to her death on Sept. 29, Neeland spent a total of 38 years in the district as a kindergarten teacher and school nurse at Riley Elementary, and as a guidance counselor at Jefferson and Park Elementaries, then finally at Great Bend Middle School where she retired.
Like many locations in the eastern half of Great Bend, the middle school lost trees during the July 16 storm. To honor Sheryl's memory, her family reached out to Jeremy Elliott at MyLawn Turf & Tree. They selected a sugar maple to be planted in honor of Sheryl near the middle school entrance. GBMS Principal Myron Ellegood said Neeland will be remembered for a long time for her service to so many kids and families.
"We're grateful to her family for the tree they've donated in her honor," he said. "It's a nice gesture, and even nicer now that we had that big storm come through and we lost so many trees. This will be nice to replace that. We're thankful for them and we're thankful for the work Sheryl did here at Great Bend Middle School."
The sugar maple was selected, in part, because of its hardy nature and colorful leaves. The trees can grow as tall as 130 feet.