Catasauqua Press

Monday, November 20, 2017
From left, the family of former student Darious Condash — Sheila Merced, Zenaida Merced, Xiomara Merced and her daughter and Sheckler student Julissa Santiago — stand in front of the table dedicated in honor of Darious, who was killed in a hit-and-run vehicle accident Nov. 6, 2015.PRESS PHOTOS BY MARK RECCEK From left, the family of former student Darious Condash — Sheila Merced, Zenaida Merced, Xiomara Merced and her daughter and Sheckler student Julissa Santiago — stand in front of the table dedicated in honor of Darious, who was killed in a hit-and-run vehicle accident Nov. 6, 2015.PRESS PHOTOS BY MARK RECCEK
Sheckler Elementary School Principal Eric Dauberman asks the students to bow their heads for a moment of silence in memory of Darious. Sheckler Elementary School Principal Eric Dauberman asks the students to bow their heads for a moment of silence in memory of Darious.
Darious’ family and Ron DeMaio, Sheckler assistant to the principal, listen as Dauberman dedicates the new playground and picnic table. Darious’ family and Ron DeMaio, Sheckler assistant to the principal, listen as Dauberman dedicates the new playground and picnic table.
The fourth-grade class takes a moment to stand in front of the school’s new playground. The fourth-grade class takes a moment to stand in front of the school’s new playground.

Sheckler’s new playground

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 by MARK RECCEK Special to The Press in School

Picnic table is dedicated in memory of Darious Condash

It was a time of celebration and somber reflection May 3 as Sheckler Elementary School officially dedicated its new playground.

A picnic table also was dedicated in memory of former student Darious Condash, who was tragically killed in a hit-and-run motor vehicle accident Nov. 6, 2015.

Sheckler Principal Eric Dauberman told the students sitting outside in front of the playground they should take ownership of and responsibility for the new addition. The new playground, he said, very well might be a memory the fourth-grade class refers to years from now.

“Maybe this will be one of the stories you talk about at graduation,” he said.

Sheckler students Cody Kurczeski and Nicholas Stem, Dauberman noted, helped raise about $200 for the playground. Both students held a lemonade fundraiser during the September 2015 Meet the Teacher Night event.

“They felt like they needed to help,” Dauberman said.

The school’s Home and School organization additionally raised funds for the playground, with Catasauqua Area School District providing the balance of the monies. In total, $20,000 was raised, with the school’s Cherrydale fundraiser as the main source of the funds.

“Remember to always help your community,” Dauberman said.

The table in memory of Darious was donated by Highwood USA, through Victoria Hofmann.

“This table is special,” Dauberman said. “Eventually, it will have a plaque in memory of Darious. We hope this table will help keep his memory alive.”

With his voice crackling with emotion, Dauberman asked the students, staff and visitors to bow their heads for a moment of silence for their former classmate.

During the dedication, family members of Darious were present, including Sheila Merced, Zenaida Merced, Xiomara Merced and her daughter and Sheckler student Julissa Santiago, each expressing tears of sadness and joy.