By Art Hunter
The New Richmond High School student government sponsored a memorial service for former high school principal Diana Spinnati Friday, Nov. 30.
The student body gathered on the football field to remember her, and after members of the student government spoke, each student released a purple balloon.
Spinnati, 58, died Nov. 23 from pancreatic cancer. She was a much-loved figure in the New Richmond Exempted Village School District.
Student Body President Luke Gilday said that Spinnati was an important figure in students’ lives.
“I’m not really sure I can put into words all that she meant to me,” Gilday said. “The whole student body adored her. No one saw her as a disciplinary figure, she was our friend, she took care of us, she was there when we needed her.”
Student body treasurer Katie Gelter said that the balloon launch at the football field was chosen to honor Spinnati’s memory in a way that students would find meaningful.
“We originally planned an event in the gym with everyone watching pictures,” Gelter said. “But we wanted to do something that would really touch home.”
Gilday said that Spinnati’s legacy will be the faith in her students’ ability to accomplish great things that she made a point to communicate to them.
“I hope that the students remember how deeply she believed in all of us and took the time to show that to everyone,” Gilday said. “I hope that the students are able to pay that forward.”
Spinnati was hired as principal at New Richmond Middle School in 1998. She served as assistant superintendent in 2003, and was later named principal at the high school.