Milbank Koch School fifth-grader, Nadia Thue, is the winner of this year’s AARP grandparent essay contest. The contest is sponsored by the Milbank Area Retired Teachers Association (MARTA).
Nadia is the daughter of Chad and Amy Thue of Milbank. Thue wrote about her grandmother, Cheryl Conrad, who was a long-time elementary teacher at Koch School.
“This honor is very special to me, especially being a MARTA member myself,” said Conrad. “I’m so happy I have been able to have all of my grandchildren grow up in the same town. I have been able to attend all of their events and activities. I am so thankful for that. Nadia and I spend a lot of time together, so this is very special for both of us.”
Thue’s essay was chosen from 59 entries by students at Koch School. She receives a medal from the state Retired School Personnel Association. Her essay also advances to the regional competition. Three winning essays from the region advance to the state competition.
Essays were judged based on creativity and expression, grammar, form, and neatness. Rylee Schell earned second place and Camila Monroy was third.
Nadia’s essay about her grandmother:
I think my grandma, Cheryl Conrad, should be the AARP SD Grandparent of the Year. I love her, in the words of Buzz Lightyear, “To infinity and beyond!” and I know she loves me as much, maybe even more. She is one of the most kind and loving persons you would know! Whenever I’m feeling gloomy, I know she will be there to help me feel even better than I did before.
As a child, my grandma had two sisters and lived in Wilmot, SD. There is one story from her childhood that makes me laugh every time I hear it. One day my grandma was playing at a boy’s house and they weren’t suppose to have girls over, so when the boy’s sister came home they put my grandma in a trunk and sat on top of it. The thought of my grandma in a trunk just makes me laugh. After college, my grandma moved to Milbank with my grandpa and had 3 kids. She raised them with my grandpa while teaching for 42 years at the school I attend now. All of those years led her to the wonderful person she is now!
My grandma is more important to me than all the stars in the sky. She is always taking care of me like her life depends on it. When I get out of school my grandma is there to pick me up and bring me to her house for baked goods. I mean you have to love when someone gives you a treat! No matter what it is, piano recital, basketball, softball, dance and more she is there to support me. I think I might be in my grandma’s car more than I’m in my mom or dad’s car. One week in January my parents were in Las Vegas grandma took car of us and made sure we had fun! I don’t know what I would do is she wasn’t here!
My grandma isn’t just important to me, she is also very important to the community as well. She volunteers at the local library, the thrift shop, the church and more. Every Wednesday when my grandma drops me off at piano she heads straight to the library. When my mom and aunt can’t work at their store Whimsy, she is always there to help them out. Church is also very important to my grandma, she goes to church every Sunday and volunteers in the nursery and kitchen. At the thrift store my grandma volunteers to work at least five times a month. My grandma helps in our community in more ways than I can say.
This is why I think my grandma should be AARP SD Grandparent of the Year. I am more thankful for her than I can express! Some people would say I love her to the moon and back, but I love her even more than that.