School brings beloved teacher with cancer his own homecoming parade

Riverside Middle School students
(Photo: WBAY)

PLYMOUTH, Wis. (WBAY) – We’ve all had that one teacher who just knows how to motivate you and make you love learning.

For fifth-graders at Riverview Middle School in Plymouth, that teacher is Jeff Petrie. but cancer has kept Mr. Petrie from his class this year.

His students made sure their favorite teacher wouldn’t miss out on homecoming weekend.

Riverview Middle School’s homecoming is on the move this year. Fifth-grade teacher Jeff Petrie is battling cancer and can’t make it to the parade, so students are taking the parade to him.

“He’s going to be thrilled to see all the kids and everyone cheering him on,” Tanya Strauss, another fifth-grade teacher, said.

It wasn’t just the band.

It wasn’t just the fifth-graders.

The entire school loaded up, lined up and marched to his home, chanting “Petrie Strong.”

“The staff and the kids and the families are amazing and just makes me feel extremely proud to be part of it all,” Principal Todd Hunt said.

They played his favorite song, and the entire student body marched right up Mr. Petrie’s driveway and showed them how much they miss him.

“I see that they’re concerned, and I know that they care, and they’ve really shown what Plymouth is all about,” Petrie said.

“All the support this community has given him is unbelievable, you know, what they’re all doing,” his mother-in-law, Phyllis Hendrikse, said.

“I feel happy for him. He has his family, he has friends all around him,” said Jamey Mullins, a former student.

“The look on the whole family’s face of knowing that everyone is here for them is awesome,” said Strauss.

“Unbelievable,” Petrie remarked. “They are just unbelievable people.”

Students said they were just happy to put a smile on his face.