10 inducted to Wall of Inspiration

Published 6:47 am Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Wall of Inspiration inductees are back row from left Dennis Hamberg, Brady Falk, Bryce DeBoer and Kevin Gentz. Front row from left are Annabelle Randall, Jen Zoller, Carrie Troe, Morgan Field and Colleen Thompson. Kneeling is Abraham Hernandez. -- Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune


Ten students and staffers from Albert Lea High School were inducted into the Wall of Inspiration Friday during a ceremony that celebrated how they’ve inspired others.

The Wall of Inspiration, which is in the Albert Lea High School commons, began in 2004 with 11 inductees. It was created in memory of Josh Kuphal, a 2002 ALHS graduate who was born with spina bifida. Shortly after graduation, he underwent surgery and died in the hospital.

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A committee, made up of the Kuphal family — Brian and Kathy, Josh’s parents, and Laura, his sister — and one student from each high school grade, choose inductees from many nomination letters under the faculty supervision of teacher Jim Haney.

The 2012 Wall of Inspiration inductees were staffers Dennis Hamberg, Jen Zoller, Carrie Troe and Kevin Gentz, along with students Annabelle Randall, Brady Falk, Bryce DeBoer, Morgan Field, Abraham Hernandez and Colleen Thompson.

Brian Kuphal spoke to the crowd about how the wall originated after so many people told them how inspiring Josh was. Kuphal said Josh lived in a wheelchair and had approximately 30 surgeries in his lifetime.

“Through it all he maintained a positive attitude,” Kuphal said.

The theme of the wall is “Be the change you want to see,” which is written above the hanging tiles in the high school commons area. Kuphal said he knows some people think their actions are insignificant, and the wall is a way to recognize those who are an inspiration.

“Each of us has the ability to be an inspiration to someone,” Kuphal said.