PHOTO OF THE DAY: BENCHMARK FOR KAHLEN
Katie Juhnke, principal at Freeman Junior-Senior High School, gestures in the direction of a new bench that has been placed in front of the school building in honor of Kahlen Salis, the 14-year-old student who passed away last August following complications from a liver transplant. Freeman Public held an assembly for students and staff on the last day of school Tuesday morning to dedicate the bench, which was made by Jim Christensen using red cedar and is inscribed with the words, “In Loving Memory, Kahlen Ranae Salis, 2008-2022,” and bookended by two butterflies, which she loved. The emotional dedication included comments from staff and students and was held on a sunny, mild spring morning.
“We wanted a space for our students to be able to sit and reflect and remember Kahlen,” Juhnke told the students. “Maybe you’re just sitting and waiting for a ride — that’s OK. Kahlen used to do that when she was waiting for Ricky to pick her up after school. We want this space to be a space that you are respecting and is a peaceful place to be, whether you’re thinking of Kahlen or someone or something else.”