Juhnke speaks at Lehigh school reunion

Staff writer

At least 98 Lehigh Rural High School alumni and spouses attended the bi-annual reunion Sunday at Hesston. The school closed in 1966.

Jim Juhnke, a 1956 graduate of Lehigh and a professor emeritus of history at Bethel College, North Newton, spoke about the years, 1950 to 1961, when his father Bill Juhnke was the school principal.

Bill Juhnke had a master’s degree in education, but coming to Lehigh was a step up from his first two years in education as a teacher in a one-room school at Elyria.

“We (children) thought living in Lehigh was great,” Juhnke said.

He said his father was passionate about giving students a well-rounded education. He coached a debate team that won a state championship one year. He also taught several classes.

At the end of the program, Juhnke showed a DVD of a collection of movies his father took of Lehigh and school activities during his tenure there.

Members of the class of 1963 celebrated their 50th graduation anniversary. For Bob Hein, it was his first appearance at a Lehigh Rural High School reunion. He worked for Pizza Hut at its corporate headquarters in Wichita after graduating from college. He has lived in western North Dakota for 40 years, where he manages three Pizza Hut franchises and several apartment buildings in Dickinson and Williston.

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