On the east side of Hickman’s campus, you can step in the labyrinth. If you follow the winding, brick-outlined path, you’ll end up in the center. Walk slowly and be mindful of the present moment, and it could help you de-stress. That’s what Janna Fick hoped.
The labyrinth, dedicated to late Hickman teacher Janna Fick, opened to the public after a dedication ceremony Friday afternoon. She passed away in May after battling breast cancer for seven years.
“Everyone knew Mrs. Fick, everyone loved Mrs. Fick and if you didn’t have her, you knew about her,” former student Shakira Cross said.
Cross read an original poem entitled “Four Things I Learned about Mrs. Fick from Four Days of Being with Her” at the dedication ceremony after a string quartet and the Hickman High School Choir performed.
Cross was inJanna Fick’s positive psychology class in 2017, a course she structured and introduced to Hickman herself. The students in her class took on the labyrinth as a personal project after Janna Fick left Hickman due to her declining health. They raised a total of $2,775 through the fundraising website GoFundMe.
“As the project developed, I saw this as the work that Janna represented,” Principal Tony Gragnani said at the ceremony.
Janna Fick was the one who initially proposed building a meditation labyrinth at the school, Gragnani recalled as he spoke to former students, colleagues and family members.
Janna Fick got the idea for the labyrinth after attending a mindfulness retreat the school paid for her to attend, according to her husband Brian Fick. Janna Fick had always been interested with psychological studies that looked at different perspectives and was always looking for ways for her students to be less stressed, her husband said. She became increasingly interested in mindfulness and meditation after her diagnosis in 2011.
Janna Fick incorporated mindfulness into all of her classes, and her positive psychology course was centered around it. She even practiced mindfulness and meditation with students in study hall.
“She was always a warm face in the hall,” former colleague Susanne Ragland said. “Students looked up to her.”
Ragland was one of many who feltJanna Fick’s genuine kindness and dedication to her students.
“She was a big believer in education and her students were high achievers,” Brian Fick said of his late wife.
He is carrying on his wife’s legacy of helping students by creating a memorial scholarship fund for Hickman students going to college. Fick is currently raising funds for the scholarship and working with staff at Hickman on criteria for the scholarship.
Supervising editor is Brendan Crowley.