Honored alum

Jim Page, the 2018 Viking Alumni Award recipient, waves while riding in the Holmen Homecoming Parade Sept. 28. The Viking Alumni Award recognizes Holmen alumni for contributions they’ve made to the community.

The School District of Holmen honored one of its own at this year’s Homecoming Rally.

Holmen High School graduate Jim Page was presented the Viking Alumni Award at the rally held at the high school Sept. 28.

Page was recognized for his work as an area police officer and for his work to raise awareness of mental health and to improve access and care for current and future emergency responders.

“I am so honored and humbled to be one of the alumni award winners,” Page said.

Since 2011, he has spoken to college students and fellow officers about officer-involved shootings as well as PTSD. Page noted he doesn’t become involved in the effort to help those struggling with such issues for recognition.

“I did it because they are things that I care deeply about,” Page said. “I speak publicly about PTSD and how it affects emergency responders. I also do presentations about drugs and their effects on people and communities.”

Page grew up on Brice Prairie, the youngest of seven children. After graduation, he served in the Army and was stationed in Germany. Upon discharge, he returned home and enrolled in Western Technical College, earning an associate degree in police science.

In his message at the homecoming assembly, Page encouraged students to get involved in activities while they’re in high school. He said being involved in school is like being involved in their community and it’s their chance to grow as individuals and help others grow as a group to find success.

“You don’t have to be athletic or popular in school to be successful in life,” he said. “Finding a career that you’re passionate about may very well lead to you making a positive impact on your community.”

Before retiring in 2016, Page was a 20-year veteran of the Onalaska Police Department. He began his policing career with the Sparta and West Salem police departments, serving 27 years as a law enforcement officer.

His journey to reach healing from trauma resulting from a shooting incident led him to become involved with helping other emergency response personnel struggling to deal with similar stress. He’s been part of a local Critical Incident Stress Management team, helping debrief emergency personnel after encountering stressful and traumatic events. In addition, Page has formed close relationships with other officers as part of the area’s Emergency Response Team.

Among his meritorious awards for his service, he was presented with the U.S. Congressional Badge of Bravery in 2011.

Page also volunteers with Special Olympics and the Polar Plunge, National Night Out, First Free Church food pantry and the Onalaska Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

The school district presents the Viking Alumni Award to HHS graduates who have distinguished themselves in their careers and served their communities. All HHS alumni who graduated at least five years ago, living or deceased, are eligible for the recognition. Recipients are selected on their community service, examples of leadership, personal achievements, contributions to their school district, professional achievement, honorary awards and citations. Nominees do not have to reside in the school district.

Page expressed appreciation to school administrators and staff for going above and beyond to make this year’s homecoming celebration special for him and his family.

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