Volleyball Remembers Beloved Teacher at Game

Senior+Juila+Loverde+reads+a+speech+before+the+volleyball+game+in+remembrance+of+Mrs.+Craven.+

Senior Juila Loverde reads a speech before the volleyball game in remembrance of Mrs. Craven.

Michael Del Rosario , Production Editor-in-Chief

“She would notice us using a bag we made in clothing class and compliment it from across the hall. She had a genuine and caring heart, which we hold dear to all of ours,” lamented Senior Julia Loverde on Monday night, as the girls volleyball team honored Jerri Craven.

Craven passed away at the age of 55 this September, leaving behind more than 20 years of teaching Family and Consumer Science at MHS.

Craven played many roles in students’ lives outside of the classroom, including National Honor Society sponsor and volleyball scorekeeper. During every home volleyball game, Craven could be found on the sidelines, keeping the score book and cheering on the team. She would also come to postseason games just to show her support.

Volleyball Coach Elizabeth Willis described Craven’s above-and-beyond commitment to the program.

“She didn’t have to do that,” said Willis, “But it was just the type of person she was. . . . She has been honored at the volleyball staff appreciation game several years in a row, most recently by senior player Mckenzie Theis.”

NHS President and Senior Volleyball Player McKenzie Theis has fond memories of Craven. She detailed how NHS plans to honor the strong sense of service, which Craven emphasized during her tenure as a sponsor.

“We are planning on having a donation jar by the cookies at [NHS] induction as a fundraiser called ‘Craven Some Cookies’ where all of the proceeds will go to the Jerri Craven Scholarship,” Theis explained. “We also hope to collaborate with all of the members to come up with some type of annual event to remember Mrs. Craven.”

On Monday night’s game, Red Rage, MHS faculty and other community members filled the stands to watch the volleyball team’s tribute to Craven. Red balloons hovered above the seat where she would usually sit and a donation table stood at the front entrance for the Jerri Craven Scholarship. Before the game began, Loverde delivered her speech.

“After my speech, I hope people will take away how amazing and genuine Mrs. Craven was. I hope people will celebrate her life instead of being sad of her passing,” she said.

Loverde serves as the NHS Secretary and also had Craven as a clothing teacher. She contends that although MHS lost the game to Grant High School 2-0, the team strived to maintain a positive attitude.

“She would want us all to be happy and cheerful in remembering her and playing for her,” said Loverde.

Similarly, Theis made it clear that she will keep moving forward this volleyball season with Craven’s optimistic spirit as inspiration.

“Mrs. Craven has always been an energetic presence in the gym, and the day after each game, she was sure to come up to many of us and tell us that we did a good job whether we won or not,” said Theis.

Craven made every one of her years at MHS meaningful, and her impact resonated through the smiles she evoked. While Craven’s sudden absence has left a void that can never be replaced, students and staff members who knew her remain confident that her impact on MHS will live on.