South Hills Community News Release
STATE COLLEGE — On January 9, 2019, members of the C.O.P.S (Community Outreach and Public Service) Club at South Hills School of Business & Technology’s State College Main Campus recognized national Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.), which has been observed annually on January 9th since 2015. L.E.A.D. was established to recognize how challenging a career in law enforcement can be and to help facilitate the understanding of the situations law enforcement officers face each day.
In December 2018, the C.O.P.S Club organized a spaghetti dinner to raise funds to help them pay tribute to local police departments. With proceeds from the dinner, the C.O.P.S. Club put together 95 gift bags and delivered them to Patton Township Police, Ferguson Township Police, State College Borough Police, Bellefonte Police, Spring Township Police, and the Centre County Sherriff’s Office on L.E.A.D.
Prior to L.E.A.D., the C.O.P.S. Club members, all of whom are enrolled in the Criminal Justice specialized associate degree program at South Hills, reached out to administrators at Kris McCloskey Group Daycare Home, Marion Walker Elementary School, and Abba's House Babyland Daycare & Preschool to ask their students to write thank you letters to local law enforcement officers. One child's letter was included in each of the gift bags as an additional token of appreciation.
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.