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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Teacher battling breast cancer honored at school

  • What was supposed to have been a get-together with kindergarten students, turned out to be a schoolwide welcome for an Xavier Catholic School teacher who's been battling breast cancer.
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  • What was supposed to have been a get-together with kindergarten students, turned out to be a schoolwide welcome for an Xavier Catholic School teacher who's been battling breast cancer.
    Cindi Thiele was greeted by the staff and student body Tuesday in the school's gymnasium.
    "It was overwhelming," Thiele said.
    Thiele, who's the librarian and technology teacher at Xavier, said she was overwhelmed by how much she is appreciated.
    "Mrs. Thiele, we all miss you terribly," Principal Karen Davis said during the assembly.
    Thiele was diagnosed in June with breast cancer. She's on a leave of absence.
    She initially thought she was coming to Xavier Tuesday for an event with her grandson and his kindergarten classmates.
    "That's how we got her here," Davis said.
    The principal said four teachers at the school came up with the idea of doing something for Thiele.
    "We've been planning this for over a month," she said.
    Teachers wore special pink T-shirts in honor of Thiele. Davis said students were asked to wear pink or white. And a number of them colored their hair pink.
    The students provided a short program for Thiele, who was joined by family members.
    Students had prepared small posters with pink ribbons on one side. On the other side, students drew pictures or wrote messages for Thiele.
    The posters were presented to Thiele Tuesday. The teacher said she's had an opportunity to quickly go through the posters which included messages from children who shared stories about how their own relatives have battled cancer.
    Thiele said even new students wrote messages for her.
    "They don't even know me yet," she said.
    Students in an extended care program decorated pumpkins for Thiele.
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