By: Cole Miller
The last few months have had a lot of ups and downs for Bernie Ludvik. As the Crete High School teacher recovers from a nasty car accident, his students helped send him to the White House.
"When I got back home, one of the first things they asked me was, "How was your trip to Washington?" Did you get to shake the President's hand? We were looking for you." Some people said they saw my bald head," Ludvik said.
Bernie, his bald head and cane are back in the hallways of Crete High School. Last week, he was at the White House, where he had the chance to see President Obama.
"I might have acted calm, but it meant so much to me."
The goal was to shake his hand, unfortunately, that didn't happen. But none of this would have been possible without the students at Crete High.
"I've gained a deeper appreciation for our community," Ludvik said.
It all started a few months ago when the "Ludvik Campaign" kicked off. A former social studies teacher, Bernie was scheduled to be at this year's Presidential Inauguration, but a car accident left him tied up in the hospital.
"I've missed so much the last 5 months because of the accident and so forth, but I gained so much more."
The students used social media to send their message and it worked.
Ludvik says it's a trip he will never forgot, even if he wasn't able to shake the hand of our nation's leader.
In the classroom, he says he hopes to continue making an impact on the lives of young people.
"You think at my age that I would reconsider that and just retire but I have no desire to stop doing this," Ludvik said.
For more than a dozen years now, Ludvik has led a group of students to Washington D.C. as part of the school's "Close-Up" program.
He wasn't able to do that this year, but by next March, he says he'll be more than ready.