Dallas School District remembers former teacher Harold Hoover with scholarship fundraiser

By Eileen Godin - egodin@timesleader.com
Wyatt Camoni, 4 of Shavertown, licks an ice cream cone while his mom Michele and sister Angie, 10, try to take a picture. - Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post
Nick Dudick and Charley Bransford, both 8, of Dallas look at a photo of Mr. Hoover with Santa Claus as a child during the Hoover Hike Fundraiser. - Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post
Julianna Tosi, 9 engages in a squirt gun battle with third-grade teacher Heather Pitcavage during the Hoover Hike benefit. - Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post
Trevor Zimmerman, 6, of Dallas, donates to a new music scholarship set up in honor of Harold Hoover. - - Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post
Ellie Roote and Lydia Federici, both 11, and both of Dallas, pose for a photo during the Hoover Hike fundraiser. - - Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post
Emma Oley, 18, Jacob Thomas, 15, and Scott Alexander, 17, all members of the district chorus, perform the song ‘Shut Up and Dance With Me’ by Walk the Moon. A - - Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post
Dallas Elementary art teacher Ashley Lunger gives henna tattoos during the Hoover Hike benefit to raise funds for a new scholarship set up in Harold Hoover’s memory. - - Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post
Dallas Middle School art teacher Shannon Rother paints a unicorn on the face of Alyssa Traver, 8, of Beaumont. - - Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post

DALLAS TWP. — Over 400 people came out to participate in the Hoover Hike at the track near the Dallas Middle School June 22.

The event gave the faculty, staff, students, and families an opportunity to remember Dallas Elementary School music teacher Harold Hoover, who died earlier in the year, as well as fund a scholarship in his name, Dallas Elementary School third-grade teacher Regan Palfey said.

“We have an overall goal to raise $11,000. That will provide a scholarship ($1,000 annually) for all students back to those who will be finishing first-grade this year,” Palfey said. “Before the hike, we had collected about $5,000.”

The Hoover Hike was held for students-only from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and opened to the public from 4 to 6 p.m.Friday.

“It was non stop,” Palfey said, noting the number of students qho came out to pay tribute to their former teacher.

“It has been therapy for the kids,” she said.

Pictures of Hoover enjoying family milestones such as his daughter’s graduation, holiday celebrations, and family vacations were hung on the metal chain-link fence around the track.

“I saw some of the students reaching out and touching his face (in the pictures), Palfey said while she held back tears.

Hoover, an elementary school music teacher at the Dallas School District for 35 years, died Feb. 14 from Stage Four Metastatic Melanoma at the Celtic Healthcare Hospice Inpatient Unit of Geisinger South, Wilkes-Barre.

He is survived by his wife, Linda Maro Hoover; daughter, Elizabeth A. Hoover; son, Eric M. Hoover; parents, Harold M. and Myrtle A. Pascoe Hoover; sister, Donna Szczucki; nieces, Amanda Schirillo and her husband Tony; Sarah Szczucki and her finacé Matt; many aunts, uncles and cousins.

The district rallied behind the family and worked with Hoover’s wife, Linda, to create the scholarship and the Hoover Hike.

The result was a musical fundraiser that showcased Hoover’s proteges’ talents via live performances, such as the Dallas High School chorus whoic sang, Andrea Ramsey’s “There Has To Be A Song.” The lyrics reflect one of Hoover’s concepts regarding how music can improve a person’s quality of life.

The chorus members sang,

“There has to be a song, To make our burdens bearable”

“There has to be a song, To make our hopes believable”

“Guests, near the chorus, stopped mingling and listened.

Afterward, GK Production’s DJ picked up the pace with a selection of mainstream music. The Hoover Hike also had a strong emphasis on family fun with face painting, a water gun area, and a booth to put names in a drawing to toss a pie at a teacher and much more.

Other booths offered basket raffles, 50/50, Henna tattoos, food, an ice cream truck and more.

Hoover’s knack for tapping into children’s undiscovered musical talent and breaking down complicated concepts for students as young as first grade to understand has earned him a spot in the hearts of many students.

“He was the first person to set the building blocks in place for me,” Dallas High School sophomore Jacob Thomas said. “I don’t know where I would be if it were not for Mr. Hoover.”

Thomas found a love of the theater after his fourth-grade musical “Cinderella” directed by Hoover. He has since pursued his interest by taking vocal lessons and participating in a several community theater productions.

“Mr. Hoover is 100 percent the reason why I do what I do,” he said.

Dallas Elementary fifth-graders Stephen Phillips, Robert Mesko and Skyler Smith walked and, at times, danced around the track but stopped to share their memories of Hoover.

“I liked the way he taught band,” said Mesko, who plays the saxophone in the elementary school band.

“He was always very enthusiastic,” said Smith, a drummer with the school band.

Phillips, who plays the trombone in the elementary school board, was inspired to learn an instrument because of Hoover.

“I think this is great that they did this for him,” Phillips said.

Dallas Elementary School fourth-grader Cassie Alaimo, while getting her face painted, said Hoover was teaching them to play the recorder this school year.

“He would always tell you ‘good job’ in chorus,” Alaimo said. “It made me feel like I was doing it right.”

Wyatt Camoni, 4 of Shavertown, licks an ice cream cone while his mom Michele and sister Angie, 10, try to take a picture.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Hoover-8.jpgWyatt Camoni, 4 of Shavertown, licks an ice cream cone while his mom Michele and sister Angie, 10, try to take a picture. Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post

Nick Dudick and Charley Bransford, both 8, of Dallas look at a photo of Mr. Hoover with Santa Claus as a child during the Hoover Hike Fundraiser.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Hoover1.jpgNick Dudick and Charley Bransford, both 8, of Dallas look at a photo of Mr. Hoover with Santa Claus as a child during the Hoover Hike Fundraiser. Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post

Julianna Tosi, 9 engages in a squirt gun battle with third-grade teacher Heather Pitcavage during the Hoover Hike benefit.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Hoover2.jpgJulianna Tosi, 9 engages in a squirt gun battle with third-grade teacher Heather Pitcavage during the Hoover Hike benefit. Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post

Trevor Zimmerman, 6, of Dallas, donates to a new music scholarship set up in honor of Harold Hoover.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Hoover3.jpgTrevor Zimmerman, 6, of Dallas, donates to a new music scholarship set up in honor of Harold Hoover. Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post

Ellie Roote and Lydia Federici, both 11, and both of Dallas, pose for a photo during the Hoover Hike fundraiser.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Hoover4.jpgEllie Roote and Lydia Federici, both 11, and both of Dallas, pose for a photo during the Hoover Hike fundraiser. Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post

Emma Oley, 18, Jacob Thomas, 15, and Scott Alexander, 17, all members of the district chorus, perform the song ‘Shut Up and Dance With Me’ by Walk the Moon. A
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Hoover5.jpgEmma Oley, 18, Jacob Thomas, 15, and Scott Alexander, 17, all members of the district chorus, perform the song ‘Shut Up and Dance With Me’ by Walk the Moon. A Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post

Dallas Elementary art teacher Ashley Lunger gives henna tattoos during the Hoover Hike benefit to raise funds for a new scholarship set up in Harold Hoover’s memory.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Hoover6.jpgDallas Elementary art teacher Ashley Lunger gives henna tattoos during the Hoover Hike benefit to raise funds for a new scholarship set up in Harold Hoover’s memory. Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post

Dallas Middle School art teacher Shannon Rother paints a unicorn on the face of Alyssa Traver, 8, of Beaumont.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Hoover7.jpgDallas Middle School art teacher Shannon Rother paints a unicorn on the face of Alyssa Traver, 8, of Beaumont. Amanda Hrycyna | For Dallas Post
Students remember former teacher with scholarship fundraiser

By Eileen Godin

egodin@timesleader.com

Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews

Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews