On Thursday, October 8, students and staff throughout the WCI community gathered wearing their red shoes to commemorate the loss of a teacher, colleague, mother, and inspiring woman, Mrs. Henni Klaassen.
Mrs. Klaassen was a dedicated teacher at WCI for 16 years, who touched the lives of many. Unfortunately, after a long battle with cancer, she passed away in the summer of 2015. Mrs. Klaassen may not be here physically, but she will always be a part of WCI. She is remembered by students and colleagues as a fun, enthusiastic, vibrant woman, who had a passion for teaching. Former student Katie L. stated, “I admire how upbeat and positive she was even though she was dealing with so much. She was always smiling.” Katie is not the only student who shares these feelings, as many who have been taught by her say the same.
But why red shoes? Colleague and friend, Ms. Jackson-Grupp came up with the idea. When interviewed about the red shoes, she said, “I guess it may seem random, but she had come back from a field trip one day, and I remember seeing her standing outside of room 124 and she was clicking her heels together, and I looked down and she was wearing the most beautiful red shoes I have ever seen.” Jackson-Grupp went on to speak about how this was in essence, one of her last memories of her friend Mrs. Klaassen and how she was like Dorothy from Oz.
Mrs. Klaassen will always be remembered as an amazing woman with nothing but positivity to spread.