RELATED LINK: Mount Michael student’s memory lives on in video
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When I first moved to Omaha six years ago, a friend of mine told me that Mount Michael Benedictine High School in Elkhorn was looking for a new after-school drama teacher.
I felt like it was a challenge worth pursuing. I interviewed and was offered the position in a matter of days.
I can still remember that first night of auditions and hoping that at least 10 people showed up. Lucky for me, they did and I started that first year at Mount Michael with the greatest group of kids I could ever ask for.
I worked at the school for two years. I left the position to focus on my children and writing. However, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss the students at Mount Michael.
The boys in my drama program were everything you hoped your sons would grow up to be. They were kind, well-mannered and made me laugh until my insides hurt. Sure, they got into trouble from time to time, but those were the stories I loved to tell my husband after rehearsals. Like the time they found a large animal bone outside and decided to hide it in various places on set to make people laugh when they found it in the middle of a scene.
Every once in a while during rehearsals I would surprise the cast and crew with a “China Buffet” night. We would all load into cars and make our way to one of the largest local Chinese buffet restaurants and gorge ourselves on egg rolls and powdered donuts.
I thought of those awesome nights this past weekend when Nathan LaFave, a Mount Michael student, just 15 years old, passed away in a car accident. He could have been one of those students going to the Chinese restaurant with me years ago. He could have been any of our sons.
It made me so sad to hear about his death because not only do I have a connection to Mount Michael school, but I too am the mother to a son who will eventually turn 15. My heart goes out to Nathan’s family and friends who are dealing with such a sad loss. Please know that although I didn’t know him, if he was anything like the boys who are dear to my heart from that school, he was a very loved young man. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Danielle Herzog is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom to two children.
Read her every Wednesday on momaha.
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