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Polar Express makes last trip with Sucha

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RONAN — Call it the grand finale.

After 26 years, Frank Sucha — a kindergarten teacher at K. William Harvey Elementary — hosted his final Polar Express on Dec. 19. 

In the holiday-themed performance, Sucha reads from the book, Polar Express, and his students join together to sing and act out the story. 

A backdrop that Sucha made of masonite 26 years ago hangs on the wall as a group of students make their way via train to the North Pole.

“I read it. I liked it,” Sucha said, explaining why he picked the book written by Chris Van Allsburg. 

Parents, grandparents and former students come to watch the classroom performance, he said, which includes appearances by Santa, his elves and some reindeer. 

Practice for the event — which includes students singing songs — starts after Thanksgiving. 

This is Sucha’s 30th year teaching and although he plans to retire come June, he said another kindergarten teacher may continue the event. 

This year’s class only had 16 students but Sucha remembers having to hold two performances in years past when he had as many as 50 students.

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