Hoover Middle School’s Greek theater now boasts the name of one of their most celebrated teachers. During a ceremony last Wednesday, the outdoor space was dedicated to Jim Eppler, who passed away in October of 2020. Friends, family, and colleagues gathered to pay homage to Eppler’s legacy, and share their memories.
“Today we’re recognizing Jim Eppler for his amazing contribution, not only to the school, but to the community, and his life surrounding education and working with youth,” said Brian Meisenheimer, the acting superintendent for the Merced City School District. “We never want to forget the people who make the most difference to our kids, and the impact they make. … He was certainly that person.” The choice to make a dedication at the schools was a collaborative effort between Heppler’s family and the school, many of whom were in attendance. Students, staff, and family all took opportunities to speak about how Eppler changed each of their lives for the better. The stories shared brought laughter and tears, and demonstrated the reach of his impact.
“I don’t know how many kids’ lives he impacted, but it was probably a tremendous amount,” Hoover Middle School Principal Julie Rivard said to those in attendance. “Many kids walked across this very stage because of Jim.”