At a time when students should be writing the final chapter of their high school career by celebrating the last week of school before graduation, students at Polo Community high School were dealing with an unexpected and tragic chapter.
"This week the Polo School District suffered a tragic loss with the sudden passing of Sarah Kamp," said principal Andy Faivre. "It was no secret that the senior class considered Sarah one the most influential and respected teachers they have had in their 12 years at Polo."
Kamp, 32, died May 20 from injuries she suffered in a traffic crash near German Valley.
During commencement exercises Sunday afternoon, Kamp was remembered by the senior class with each student bringing in a flower to place in a basket at the edge of the stage.
Kamp's family had reserved seating in the front row.
Faivre began the ceremony with a brief introduction about Kamp.
"There are many ways in education, we as adults, try and recognize greatness in teaching, but I think every educator will tell you the greatest honor of all is when that greatness is both recognized and acknowledged by the students," said Faivre.
"When the senior class asked if they could be the ones to honor Mrs. Kamp I think it tells us all we need to know about how truly special Sarah Kamp was to the students of Polo."
McKaley Boothe and Mallory Hopkins remembered their English teacher with many fond memories.
"Kamp was so much more than just a teacher to all of us," said Boothe. "Many of us have had the opportunity to have her for 3 years of high school English. Over the course of those three years we were graced with her ever joyful presence as well as many lessons we will carry with us for the duration of our lives."
"We can say that we will never forget that welcoming smile that we were greeted with each and every morning," said Hopkins. "Every student knew that when we walked through that door of her classroom, the class would be started off with a venting session that she would soon turn into a valuable lesson. She always stressed to us it wasn't worth our time to sweat the small stuff and to live every moment of our live without any regret."
Boothe shared two quick stories about Kamp which was welcomed with laughter.
"We will always remember the constant laughs that came with each class period," she said. "Like the time she made Brady apologize for being late for the umpteenth time in the best baby voice he had."
Another story was about texting during class.
"She texted Billy and Miranda to curse them for texting in another class," said Boothe. "We will never forget her joyful expressions."
Hopkins said Kamp will always be a part of 2013 senior class.
"She shaped us into the people we are today," said Hopkins. "Had it not been for her constant frustration of wanting us to be what she knew we could be, our high school career could have ended differently. We are standing up here today to not only remember her but to thank her for all she has done. She may be gone, but she will never be forgotten."