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Longtime teacher and coach honored at Wilson Memorial High School

A special dedication was held at the Wilson Memorial High School football game Friday night.
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 11:42 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - A special dedication was held at the Wilson Memorial High School football game on Friday night.

Gary Kessler was a physics teacher at Wilson Memorial High School in Fishersville and a was the head coach of the girl’s outdoor track and field team until he passed last spring.

Vanessa Mundie, an assistant principal at Wilson Memorial, was a former student of Kessler’s.

“Mr. Kessler was someone who was not in education just to teach science. That was what got him in the building, but he was much more than that. His goal each and every day was helping students to help understand to believe in themselves and be the best versions of themselves,” Mundie said.

Mundie added that Kessler loved his country and his family.

Now, Kessler’s impact on the school will be known forever as the school’s outdoor track has been named the “Gary Kessler Track.”

Kessler’s family and along with former and current school staff watched as the track name was unveiled Friday night.

Jason Babral is Kessler’s son in law and he said his father-in-law loved making an impact in students’ lives.

“It was much bigger than the teaching and coaching. It really was about just impacting young kids’ lives and he thrived on that, so it’s just very fitting that his name is here today,” Babral said.

Babral said the outpouring from the community has meant a lot to his family.

Plaques will be placed in the football stadium so students can know the legacy both Kessler and Steve Geiman, another former Wilson Memorial teacher who the stadium is named after, have left on the community.

A scholarship was also created in Kessler’s name for one senior every year.

Those who knew him said he is continuing to impact students’ lives even after he is gone.

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