by Jodie LeMaster
South Hills Webmaster
with Joan Andrews
South Hills Public Relations Specialist
LEWISTOWN — Before leaving for their summer internships, five of our 2nd-year Criminal Justice students from our Lewistown location and their instructor, Venus Shade, successfully completed training and received their Mifflin County Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) certification. They took part in the class with 10 other members of the Mifflin County criminal justice community.
CIT works in partnership with mental healthcare providers to develop a system of services that is benefitial to individuals with mental illness, their family members, and the police officers. CIT training prepares participants to assist law enforcement and other community social service workers in identifying and addressing mental health issues that may be involved in various potentially volatile cases. The objectives are to decrease the need for use of force during crisis situations, prevent injuries to officers and citizens, and offer earlier interventions in hopes of improving treatment outcomes.
Local CIT Coordinator Erica Clark put the 40-hour training session together in collaboration with local law enforcement and area mental health officials. Ms. Clark stated that she was inspired by the level of commitment and involvement the South Hills students demonstrated during the intensive training.
Barbara Harer, Director of South Hills – Lewistown, said, “We are proud of our Criminal Justice students for being involved in this valuable crisis intervention training experience. They can take this innovative and sensitive training into a diversity of careers within their field.”
Kari Schlegel was born in March 1992 and graduated from South Hills in September 2012.
The Kari Lynn Schlegel Memorial Gallery is named in memory of Kari Schlegel, a lifelong Bellefonte resident and 2012 graduate of the Graphic Arts program at South Hills.
Kari was often the exclamation point in any story about the Class of 2012. Her effervescent good mood, enthusiasm, and seemingly endless supply of optimism and positive spirit was infusive, lighting up the classroom.
Kari (right) is shown with her beloved sister, Mindy.
Her classmates still laugh at the memory of Kari wearing her bunny slippers on the Graphic Arts field trip to New York City. Groan-worthy puns and jokes? Kari had a volume of them. She delighted in sharing stories and photos of her four beloved cats as well as trivia and tales of Harry Potter and Disney World. She was a rare combination of innocence, maturity, trust, and hope. She was filled with a joy of life and an unconditional love for her friends, her family, her pets… and people she just met. That was Kari Schlegel.
Kari dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow for the South Hills “BooFest” Halloween party in 2012.
She loved her school, even coming back to audit several GA classes after graduating. Kari also particularly enjoyed returning to South Hills every summer to perform as part of the Music Picnic Series with the Bellefonte Community Band.
Kari died December 15, 2016, in a tragic automobile accident. It’s a loss everyone who knew her still feels. In the end, Kari truly lived her life with passion and joy, treating others as she wanted to be treated: with love, compassion, and respect.