Dubuque middle school students lead charge to rename wrestling r - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque middle school students lead charge to rename wrestling room

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

It was a sudden illness that caused Jefferson Middle School teacher Matt Morehouse to die in December.

In the nearly two months since, the students that he impacted have been working hard to honor his legacy.

A group of middle school students have been working to name the wrestling room after their favorite wrestling coach and art teacher.

"He motivated me to work harder," said Randi Pinto.

"He was there for me if I needed to talk to him," said Emma Dietz.

"He was like a close friend and a teacher pulled together," said Maggie Dietz.

Morehouse left a physical mark on the room--painting "I got your back" on one wall, while painting the school mascot on another.  He planned to finish two of the projects this year.

After his sudden passing, his students wanted to make sure his mark would be left on the room forever.

"He meant so much to all of us, not even just his wrestlers, his students. He made an impact on all his lives," one of his wrestlers said.

They say naming the room after him would be a small thank you to a man who gave them so much.

"It would mean a lot, because Mr. Morehouse taught us a lot and gave a lot to us, never gave up on us, and we will never have the chance to give back to him, and I think this will be a great way to remember him and try to give back what he gave to us," said Adam Horch.

They've gathered nearly 30 letters in support of the move, and will present their case to the school board Monday night.

Their effort has made their principal proud.

"I'm so proud of them. They really took this opportunity and ran with it. And they put in a lot of time. They came in before school and after school and worked on it and practiced it," said Kelly Molony, Jefferson Middle School principal.

The students say this whole process has taught them a lot about hard work, public speaking, and working to accomplish a goal.

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