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In The Limelight

A Veteran's Diploma

The Story of Harry Hauri - Part 2
Graduation Day!

ByTeresa Nguyen

June, 2021

The Parkview Board of Education was extremely supportive of the idea to issue Mr. Hauri an honorary diploma...Even though Mr. Hauri's circumstances as a youth prevented him from attending traditional school, Parkview feels it is essential that we recognize his life accomplishments..

~ Parkview School District Superintendent, Steve Lutzke

93-year-old, Harry Hauri 
Note: Consider reading Part 1, the story of Harry’s incredible life experiences and how he has made a difference in our community!

I was so moved by Harry’s incredible story that I often thought of him and called on occasion. The idea to reach out to the schools had come up in conversation with others, but nothing had been done about it. Finally, I decided in January, 2021, to reach out to the Parkview School District to see if Harry, who never graduated from high school, could receive an honorary diploma.
After learning Harry’s story, Superintendent Lutzke was right on it, bringing the idea to the district’s next board meeting where they approved the recommendation. They voted “yes” for Harry to receive an honorary high school diploma this Friday with the Class of 2021.

How cool is that? 

The wonderful Parkview School District board is fulfilling one of the district’s missions; Family & Community Engagement - valuing all Parkview families and community members.
Many members of the Hauri family have attended the Parkview schools and they are very excited about Dad, Grandpa or Great Grandpa, whichever he is called, being allowed to receive this award! 

Harry is the kind of example we would want our young graduates, the future generation, to follow. He is hard working, kind and empathetic, generous in spirit, devoted to his community and to our country. He truly inspires so many. 
Steve Lutzke.jpg
Steve Lutzke
Parkview School District Superintendent

The Parkview Board of Education was extremely supportive of the idea to issue Mr. Hauri an honorary diploma. Life experience provides so many learning opportunities and it was clear to the Board that Mr. Hauri's life experiences warranted an honorary diploma.

The Parkview School District is committed to the success of all students. Even though Mr. Hauri's circumstances as a youth prevented him from attending traditional school, Parkview feels it is essential that we recognize his life accomplishments.

Every 2021 Parkview graduate has a different story to tell about their educational journey. Many of these stories include obstacles and hurdles that they had to cross to successfully graduate. I believe that Mr. Hauri's graduation many years after his expected commencement shows our students that they are not alone in the struggles they encounter on the path to graduation.
Superintendent Steve Lutzke
It is clear that Mr. Hauri spent a good deal of his life helping others and serving others. To me personally, I'm glad that Parkview is able to recognize his contributions to society with an honorary diploma.
Jennie Krajeck
Parkview School District Board of Education Member

When this was initially brought up at the board meeting, it was a pretty easy decision to give Harry Hauri this honorary diploma. His story is very moving and he is an amazing member of our community.

It was wonderful to see the graduates of 2021 receive him and his story as part of their graduation day. I think it was an honor for them to have this amazing example of humanity walk across the same stage as them. This is one of those stories that gives you the kind of education that you can't get from any text book.

I am so happy we could do this for Harry, for his family, for our community and for the class of 2021!
Jennie Krajeck photo by Megan O'Leary Ph
Jennie Krajeck
Photo by Megan O'Leary Photography
Judy Simplot
Harry’s Daughter

We’re very proud of him. He deserves this. He has taught us so much in life – how to be kind, how to give back.

Dad always says, “Is it a need or a want? When you can give back, you need to do that.”

Kerry Simplot
Harry’s Son-In-Law

Harry and I worked together at Fairbanks Morse and I still work there. Harry was on days and I was on nights. Fairbanks Morse builds engines for the Navy and Coast Guard and we’re pretty proud of that. Our men and women depend on our equipment. 

Harry has taught me a lot working with him. Even on his last day, he worked…no messin’ around. He has a special appreciation for it all and took pride in it because he knew the important purpose of those engines. No doubt about it.
Harry (right) seated with some of his children and grandchildren (front two rows),
waiting for the ceremony to begin.
I think his graduation is pretty cool. His daughter, Judy, and I met right here in this high school. Harry receiving an honorary diploma will set an example for others who were in the same situation as he is. They will see that it’s never too late!

His family is proud of him, and they should be.

Arthur Hauri
Harry’s Grandson

I graduated from Parkview High School in 2004. I was thinking how we’ve now had four generations of Parkview grads. I didn’t expect it! And I’ve learned from his story. I didn’t even know that he didn’t finish high school to stay home and work on the farm.
That’s just another example of how he has sacrificed to help others.

Grandpa’s been a real role model for me. I grew up going out there working, bailing hay with him and my dad, seeing the hard work and the kind of guy that he is. He is always willing to help others and I see that reflected in his kids. He has instilled those values in them and in his grandchildren. I feel like I can depend on my cousins for anything. They’d drop what they’re doing to help others in need.

It feels really good for him to be recognized. I’m very proud. This is really well-deserved. 
Carol Hagen
Harry’s Daughter

When we came for the graduation practice, there was a lot of chitter chatter among the graduates. But, when it came time to practice the presentation to my dad, they all went silent. They sat there listening. I was amazed by the kids! I thought to myself, that’s the last lesson they’re going to learn as a student here.

They learned how he gave of himself, even though he doesn’t have much money, he gives what he can. He is an example to them of how to be a good person and to have a good heart.

A lot of people don’t realize that many in his generation didn’t finish the 8th grade so that they could help out at home, especially on the farms. 
Harry with Carol and Steve Hagen
I think the students became truly aware of his sacrifices throughout his life. They stood up and clapped for him. For them to set aside their own chatter for a while, to not think about what’s happening with their own graduation, but to hear this story, was really special to them.

Nancy Hollibush
Harry’s Daughter

I think it’s pretty awesome. I’m very proud of him. 

Three of his grandkids had practiced walking dad up to the stage.  Autumn is his granddaughter, Wyatt and Wesley are Harry’s great grandsons. They are all Parkview District students. 

The kids say the other students are talking a lot about their grandpa. But they’re not embarrassed by the attention. They’re proud of him.
Dads will be dads!
A beautiful  sky for Harry's graduation night!
Harry Hauri and some of his proud family
Harry graciously received his honorary diploma on May 28th, 2021 at Parkview High School. He said in a recent interview that he dedicated the award to his 8th grade teacher who offered him room and board in order to attend high school. Though he turned down the offer to work on the farm, he never forgot her kindness.
“It’s something different! It’s very nice of them, I’ll say.” ~ Harry Hauri
A video clip of Harry receiving his diploma
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