Ehler named Grand Marshal of Rushford Days Parade

TCR/CRAIG JOHNSON Former Rushford-Peterson Superintendent Chuck Ehler has been chosen as the Grand Marshal of the 2019 Rushford Days Parade.
Chad Smith

The Grand Marshal of this Rushford Days Parade is retiring Rushford-Peterson Superintendent Chuck Ehler, a familiar face to area residents. The Grand Parade, which starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, is one of the highlights of the annual Rushford Days celebration.

Rushford Festivities Event Chair Jennifer Feine said Ehler is the right choice for this year’s Grand Marshal and talked about the process they go through to pick a Grand Marshal. “As a committee, we talk about some of the influential people throughout the community that might make good choices,” Feine said. “We look for people that have really contributed something important and made a big impact. Mr. Ehler’s name came up as someone who would be a good choice and we voted on him.

“Some of the things that kept coming up when we discussed him included the fact that he joined this community during a very difficult time and helped out tremendously. For the last 12 years of his life, he’s been pretty dedicated to the kids of this school district and their families.”

Ehler, whose retirement becomes official at the end of the week of this week, says he’s “touched” that the committee reached out and asked him to be this year’s Grand Marshal at the parade. He’s also grateful that the committee will allow his wife Sharon and son Paul to ride along with him in the parade.

“They’ve been intricately involved in everything that’s been going on over the last 12 years,” Ehler said. “They’ve lived and breathed everything that’s gone on with the school and all the different activities that go with it. I’m thankful that the focus will be on my family and not just on me. Without their support over the years, it would have been much more difficult to do the job that brought me here.”

Ehler said the honor definitely means more than it normally would because his career in education is coming to an end. His career started as a Media Director and an assistant boys’ basketball coach at South Winneshiek in Iowa back in 1976. Other positions he held at South Winneshiek included Golf Coach, Interim High School Principal, as well as the full-time Elementary/Middle School Principal.

A Mabel-Canton High School graduate, Ehler received his Bachelor of Science degree in History and Instructional Media from Winona State University in July 1974. He received a Master of Arts Degree in Education, which included a Principal K-12 endorsement in May 1989. He also completed his Sixth Year Certification at Winona State in July 1992.

“As I look back, I tend to focus on the positive things instead of the challenges that were in front of me,” Ehler said. “The whole process was a blessing from the get-go. As I’ve mentioned before, I relied on my faith to carry me through the tough times. Again, my family was also instrumental to that as well.

“Everything coming together provided a rare opportunity at both a personal and professional level. I consider it both a privilege and an honor to have the opportunities I’ve experienced here at Rushford-Peterson.”

Feine said Ehler and his family get to “ride in a really cool convertible and wave to the crowd and receive some recognition from the community.”

Ehler is eager to start a new chapter in his life. “My family and I are looking forward to the chance to step back and catch our breath a little bit,” he said with a laugh. “I’m looking forward to doing some family things and not having to hurry through them because we only have a short window of time to get them done. The biggest thing we’re looking forward to is having time on our side.”