Kerry Story influenced the students of the Carthage School District in a number of different rolls and in a number of different ways over his 32 years before retiring last year.
The Carthage High School SkillsUSA club is honoring his career and his work with generations of Carthage young people by naming him Grand Marshal of the 2017 Carthage Christmas Parade.
“During his career and has worked with many students who needed extra help, attention, to get through school and life,” said Mark Sponaugle, advisor of the SkillsUSA club. “Mr. Story started teaching in the Carthage system at the old Eugen Field and then moved to the high school and eventually to the Virtual Learning Center at North Tech.”
Story said he was surprised to get the call from Sponaugle on Monday asking him to accept the title.
“I wasn't expecting it, it's an honor,” Story told The Carthage Press on Tuesday. “I hope I represent the town and the SkillsUSA group well. I just wanted to make sure he was sure and I wanted to think about it and pray on it for just a little bit. I got back with him a few hours later and told him I'd be glad to do it.”

Educator
Story worked in a number of different jobs during an educational career that spanned exactly 32.7 years.
He taught that first seven-tenths of a year in the Nevada, where he grew up.
“I taught in Nevada for .7 years,” he said. “I was on military duty going to school so when I finally got out of my service to come back, the year had already started so I taught the remainder of that year. So I've taught 32.7 years.”
His first teaching job was at Heartland Hospital in Nevada, teaching students in the drug and alcohol abuse ward for seventh through 10th graders.
In Carthage, he started out at the old Eugene Field Elementary School, then he taught at the junior high and high school. He was assistant principal at the Carthage Junior High from 1998-2004, then moved to the Virtual Learning Center from 2004 until his retirement in 2016.
He also coached wrestling and soccer in Carthage.
“I've had a lot of interesting jobs over the years,” Story said. “I like to switch things up, teach in one program for a while then teach something else.”

Family and community
Story was married to Sarah Story and the couple had three children.
His oldest daughter, Kayla, died in an automobile crash in 2007. His wife died in 2008.
Story and his two other daughters, Ryenn and Faith all still live in Carthage and Christmas in Carthage is always a highlight of the year.
“Christmas in Carthage is getting together with family and friends, doing the cooking with my kids,” Story said. “We like to cook big meals and we also help out with family dinners and meals through the different seasons. We like to go through the Christmas Lights over at the Vietnamese church. We like to drive some of the streets and see what the lights are like around town.”
Story said the Carthage school district was a great place to work and his family loved Carthage.
“It gave me a lot of opportunities to do different things and I just enjoyed the kids and being here and I liked the area,” Story said. “My wife was happy here and my kids were happy here so we stayed here.”
Since his retirement, Story has been helping his friends Dale and Stephanie Garber run the Camp Mi Casa RV Park on Route 66 west of Carthage.
He said being the Grand Marshal of the Christmas Parade is just another adventure in a life filled with adventure.
“I'm looking forward to it,” Story said. “It's going to a new experience but through my whole life I've always had new experiences and they've always turned out well and I've always enjoyed doing new things. I never thought I'd be working at an RV Park but I never thought I'd teach school for 32 years either so I'll just go with it.”