Photo provided by Sen. Victoria Spartz
Noblesville West Middle School science teacher (right) receives a Sagamore of the Wabash from Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb (left) and Sen. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville).
Photo provided by Sen. Victoria Spartz Noblesville West Middle School science teacher (right) receives a Sagamore of the Wabash from Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb (left) and Sen. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville).

While it’s been a difficult year for our Noblesville Schools community, after the May 25 Noblesville West Middle School shooting that injured student Ella Whistler and teacher Jason Seaman, we have remained strong as a district and as a community.

State Rep. Kathy Richardson (R-Noblesville) said it best in her June 3 column, “Our community is healing from a tragedy, and although faced with the unthinkable, we will remain Noblesville Strong.”

Over the past seven months, our community has continued to heal. And in November, Noblesville Schools referendum passed, by a margin of 59 percent, for additional referendum funding, part of which will be used to increase safety staff and equipment within the district. Our school district is applauded for its handling of the matter since the shooting.

Mr. Seaman, a NWMS science teacher, has been honored as a hero after he stopped a 13-year-old male student who fired two handguns into his classroom.

Seaman, who has healed physically, has since been the recipient of many awards.

Most recently, in December, Seaman was recognized as a Hoosier Hero by the Indiana Society of Chicago at its 113th annual black-tie gala, which annually recognizes and celebrates accomplishments of those doing extraordinary things to make Indiana the great state it is.

Seaman was awarded a Sagamore of the Wabash that same night by Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and Sen. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville). Seaman is among presidents, astronauts, artists, musicians and others who have earned the honor by their distinguished service to the state.

Noblesville Elks collected $1,500 for Whistler and Seaman to use during the holidays.

Noblesville Sunrisers Kiwanis Club recognized the heroic actions of Seaman and honored him with the Robert P. Connelly medal of heroism during a ceremony at the Boys and Girls Club of Noblesville. This medal is one of the most prestigious awards given by the global volunteer service organization.

Seaman and Whistler were grand marshals of the Noblesville Fourth of July Parade.

Seaman threw out the first pitch before the St. Louis Cardinals game against the Atlanta Braves in June.

Napleton Hyundai in Carmel presented the teacher and his wife with a 2018 Hyundai Elantra.

Seaman, NWMS school nurse Megan Schleuter and NWMS school resources officer Mike Steffen were each honored as a Hometown Hero with a plaque presented to them on Veterans Day at the Hamilton County War Memorial by Noblesville American Legion Post 45 and Ralph Lehr Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6246 and Hamilton County Navy Club Ship 29.

The Noblesville Fraternal Order of Police and the Noblesville Police Auxiliary held a charity 5K Fun Run with net proceeds going to the NWMS PTO to support all of the students affected by the active shooter situation.

Noblesville Schools Education Foundation established a fund to support Whistler and Seaman.

I’m sure that I missed listing other awards and fundraisers. But all of these provide proof that our community is so very grateful.

In 2019, we will still be healing, but we look foward to safer schools and remaining Noblesville Strong.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com. Be sure to read the Noblesville Diversity Committee column on page A2 of today’s edition of The Times.