Mrs. Kottich’s gift of reading a lasting one

Diana Kottich was a person who had many interests in her life. None topped her love for children.  

Not only were her children and grandchildren held in high esteem, but also the students she came in contact with over the years. After her recent passing from a long battle with cancer, Diana’s family gathered to determine what to do with the memorial monies given in her honor. A healthy donation was given to help support the efforts of the Richardson County Cancer Fund. A discussion ensued regarding the balance of the funds.  

“It was decided (by unanimous vote) to establish a fund for the kindergarten kids, a group Diana dearly loved to work with,” her husband, Steve, said.

Consequently, “Mrs. Kottich’s Kids” was born.  

Beginning with this week’s book fairs being held at Falls City Public and Sacred Heart Schools, each and every kindergarten student in Falls City will receive a free book courtesy of the Diana L. Kottich Memorial Fund. 

Teachers and staff will select a group of books for the students to pick from. Kindergarteners will get to pick out their own books from this approved list. These gifts will be given every year during the spring book fair at the schools. It is reasoned that the spring book fair is the best time to do this as the youngsters have developed and acquired reading skills by this juncture of the school year.  

Mrs. Kottich passed away last December at the age of 58. She was born and raised in Falls City and, after graduating from UNL, returned home and taught elementary education at North and South Schools. For more than 30 years, Diana was an endearing figure to the hundreds of children she taught, as well as a multitude of educators she worked alongside. 

Upon being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, friends and family launched “Team Diana,” andFalls City was quickly painted teal, the color designated to promote ovarian cancer awareness. Boxes upon boxes of “Team Diana” shirts were sold last spring, as faculty members and students from all the schools for a day donned the uniform teal. Furthermore, the “Team Diana Merz Kottich” Facebook page garnered 600 fans in its first week. 

“We are thrilled and excited to initiate this program for the kindergartners,” Diana’s husband, Steve, said.

“Especially thrilled because we know Diana loves this. She loved reading and loved the kids,” he said.

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