JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Nettleton School District honored a longtime school board member.
The family of Harlan Kiech, a former Nettleton School Board member, donated the land the Nettleton High School and Junior High School now sits on.
Members of the school district gathered with the Kiech family for the dedication of a plaque to honor Harlow Kiech and his family's contributions to the Nettleton School District.
Superintendent James Dunivan said Kiech is the longest running school board member, serving 45 years.
"I think it would mean a lot to him because he was Nettleton through and through," Dunivan said. "I think some of his family even told me if it came down between family and Nettleton, he would pick Nettleton! He was a great supporter and because of people like him, this district has grown to the district we now have and we're so proud of that."
This school year marks the first full school year in the new building, which Dunivan said has upgraded facilities and classrooms.
Travis Kiech, a great-grandchild of Harlow Kiech said his great-grandfather moved from Ohio and worked as lumberer.
"The school was his family," Travis Kiech said. "He thought as much of the school as his family. Just the acknowledgment of his dedication to the school system itself at Nettleton, that's an honor for all of us.
Travis also said Harlow donated land to the Nettleton Cemetery located on Airport Road in Jonesboro, to be used for families who couldn't afford plots.
Jeff Kiech, another one of Harlow's great-grandchildren, said Harlow and his brother were both highly educated and wanted the same for others in the community.
"He loved the community and really wanted to help out as far as uplifting the community," Jeff Kiech said. "We're very proud. It gives me a sense of pride to know that my family has done something and I hope that I can keep moving forward with that."
Harlow passed away in 1969.
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