BOE recognizes inductee for Bearcat Memorial

The David Schulte family and Gasconade County R-1 Board of Education Director Kevin Stiers stands at the Bearcat Memorial site where a brick inscribed with Mr. Schulte’s name, is placed among the others that have received the recognition previously. Hermann Volunteer Fire Department firefighters were present to honor their former fire chief. 

Last Friday evening, the Gasconade County R-1 School District Board of Education (BOE) recognized the memory and accomplishments of past civic leader Mr. David Schulte, with the Bearcat Memorial—the highest honor bestowed by the Board. Typically, this memorial service is held at the memorial near Bearcat Memorial Stadium, but due to rain, the event was moved into the Hermann High School Auditorium. 

Student Council President Rachel Lensing welcomed the audience and introduced the VFW Post 4182 Color Guard for the Posting of Colors. Then, the Hermann High School Marching Band played the Star Spangled Banner. Once the audience was re-seated, Ms. Lensing introduced School Supt. Scott Smith, who introduced the family of the 2019 Bearcat Memorial inductee, David Schulte. He then  explained the significance of the annual honor.

“The Bearcat Memorial began in 2007 as a way to honor people known for outstanding contributions to our school, community, State and nation, through military service, personal sacrifice or exemplary lives,” said Dr. Smith. “Tonight we celebrate the contributions of Mr. David Schulte and there is no doubt [his] induction will continue the previously high standards set for the Bearcat Memorial.”

Dr. Smith said while Mr. Schulte was growing up in Hermann, he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and prior to his high school graduation, he began serving the community as a fireman in 1980, becoming the Fire Chief in 1999, serving the community in this role until his death in 2016.

“People knew he was dedicated and willing to do whatever was necessary to keep the people in his community safe,” said the superintendent. “Dave was the type of person people in the community came to rely on, no matter what the situation.”

Mr. Schulte was busy in other capacities as well. 

Supt. Smith said he spent several years serving the Hermann Area Ambulance District, the Gasconade County 911 Board of Directors and the Hermann Area Community Foundation of the Ozarks. 

He received “Volunteer of the Year,” by the Chamber of Commerce in 2007 and in 2016, he was a recipient of the Gasconade County R-1 School District Bearcat Award.

From the stage, Board of Education Director Kevin Stiers met the Schulte family to place the Memorial brick, in a symbolic placement, until the brick could be placed in the Memorial at the stadium. 

Lisa Schulte spoke for the family thanking the BOE and Dr. Smith, while recognizing the volunteer firefighters that came to the memorial service.

“The Fire Department was David’s world,” she said. “He enjoyed coming to the kindergarten classes (Fire Safety Weeks) and the prom [safety] assemblies.”

She said she had been overwhelmed by the honors Mr. Schulte had received since his passing and that she and her family were very appreciative.

BOE President Mark Brooks gave the closing remarks thanking Mr. Schulte’s family for coming to receive the honor on his behalf, as well as those that had a part in the ceremony.

“As we close this ceremony, I would like you to take some time to reflect on how Mr. Schulte gave himself for his community,” said Supt. Smith. “He has left his mark on this world that will live on forever—in the people and in the organizations, he was part of. From what I have learned about Mr. Schulte, he would encourage each of us to do what we can to make a difference in our community.” 

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