Much-loved Riverside teacher surprised prior to deployment

Riverside Junior High School students, with the help of their teachers, pulled together a surprise assembly Friday for their much-loved social studies teacher, who soon will be deployed to the Middle East with the Ohio Army National Guard. 

Switzer deployment

ABOVE: Ohio Army National Guard Capt. and Riverside Schools teacher Jack Switzer, right, reacts Friday to a skit performed by his students during a ceremony honoring him prior to his upcoming deployment to the Middle East. Also pictured next to him are his aunt Jacque Switzer of Columbus and great-aunt Charlotte Saunders of Sidney. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MANDY LOEHR)

Students wiped away a few tears as Capt. Jack Switzer entered into the school gymnasium on his last day of school prior to his deployment. 

“We want to honor his love of his country, and this love that he shares with the junior high boys and girls through teaching social studies,” teacher Darcie Jenkins said to open the assembly. 

Capt. Switzer, who is in his second year of teaching at the school, said he was shocked and humbled by the students’ efforts. He plans to return to Riverside Schools at the end of next school year to resume his teaching duties. 

“I had absolutely no clue they were planning this; I’m absolutely blown away,” he said following the assembly, which was also attended by several of his family members, including his mother, Denise Jankow and her boyfriend, Dave Dennison of Lima; his aunts ,Pat Briggs of Lima and Jacque Switzer of Columbus; and his great-aunt Charlotte Saunders of Sidney. 

Read complete story in Monday's Examiner
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