A ‘wonderful’ dedication

The new playground complex at Franklin Elementary School was dedicated to a late kindergarten teacher Wednesday afternoon. Carol Ploeger, who passed away in March, started teaching at Franklin in the late 1960s. Her family, including husband Dick Ploeger, son Jeff Ploeger and daughter Christine Cameron were present for the dedication, and have donated money to Carol’s former classroom.

While her name is still remembered by many in the hallways of Franklin Elementary School, the late kindergarten teacher Carol Ploeger had the school’s new playground dedicated in her name Wednesday, with her family in attendance.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Carol’s son, Jeff Ploeger, as he watched kindergartners playing on the bright-colored playground equipment. “Mom was a really dedicated teacher and this was a school she taught at for a long time.”

The long-time teacher passed away in March at the age of 82. She worked as a kindergarten teacher at Franklin after moving to Marshalltown in 1967, and remained dedicated to her job until health issues forced her to stop teaching.

Along with the new playground, Carol will also be remembered through the family’s donation toward her former classroom, which is still a teaching space for kindergartners today, now occupied by teacher Amy Phillips.

“The teacher was looking at the needs of the classroom, and purchased some bookshelves to replace some that were really worn out,” said Franklin Principal Tim Holmgren of how the donation money was used. “She also purchased some alternate seating for the kids … when they’re in small group, the seats allow them to wiggle yet still engage.”

Along with her son Jeff, Carol’s husband Dick Ploeger and daughter Christine Cameron were also at Wednesday’s dedication. They got to meet the current students in Carol’s old classroom, and watched them have fun on the new playground.

“It was really a special place, so when she passed away, we felt this was something that would memorialize her in a very special way and do something positive for the school system,” Jeff said.

Cameron said she hopes community members see the Franklin playground as a memorial site for her mother.

The new playground at Franklin is one of two such projects at Marshalltown Schools. Another new playground is being completed at Woodbury Elementary, and both are replacing out-of-date equipment to ensure kids have fun and are safe during recess.