A tree for Melissa

Emma Poll (l) and Amelia Poll help to root the young tree.

“To teach is to inspire” are the words etched on the gravestone of late teacher at Seaway District High School and long time guide leader with the Sparks, Brownies and Guides of South Dundas, Melissa Ringler.

On Sunday, May 5, members of Melissa’s troop, under the leadership of Hannah “Brown Owl” Barkley gathered at Seaway District High School to plant a Fantasy Maple in the school yard in memory of “Sparky” Ringler. The tree will also carry a permanent tree charm bearing the quote.

“We wanted to do something local for her,” said Barkley, “since Melissa’s gravestone is in St. Catharine’s. We wanted to have something living in her memory. She was a dedicated teacher and a dedicated Guide. Her presence is definitely missed.”

The South Dundas troop, with the help of a grant from Toronto Dominion Friends of the Environment, the support of Seaway District High School and Lloyd McMillan Equipment, was able to plant the tree on the grounds of the school.

Former Guides, Seaway teachers past and present who worked with Melissa, and other friends joined the young Guides, Brownies and Sparks at a special ceremony to remember Melissa “Sparky” Ringler. “Long may this tree stand, reaching ever upward.”

Past and present members of the Seaway staff at the ceremony. Left to right are Jeff Crooke, Jackie Gardiner, Kevin Kennedy (with new daughter Parker) Lindsay Kennedy, Darrin Cryderman, Heather Thompson, Jason Edge, Wendy Gibb and Janeen Wagemans.

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