Metal detector uncovers lost memento at I-S High School
By Holly Neumann
When Sheri (Schumacher) Seubert, a 1982 graduate of Iola-Scandinavia High School, lost her class ring in February of her senior year, she believed it was gone forever.
“I remember that day like it was yesterday,” she said. “It was after basketball practice and I put the ring in my jacket pocket. Well, the pocket had a hole in it and it was gone.”
Seubert recalled searching for the ring once she noticed it was gone and again in the spring with a metal detector, but came up empty-handed.
“I have thought about that ring over the years and about getting a new one made,” she said. “School was everything to me. It had a T-Bird on one side and a lady basketball player on the other. I never thought I would see it again.”
To her surprise, the ring was returned to her Oct. 18.
Paul Ordway, who does maintenance work for the Iola-Scandinavia School District, located the ring.
“I use a metal detector each fall to find the corners of the football field,” he said. “I have always loved using it, so I bought one for myself.”
Ordway and his daughter, Nicole, who shares an interest in searching, headed out to do another one Oct. 17.
“I have searched on several areas of school property, but I had never really searched by the south end of the parking lot,” he said. “I thought I would give it a shot. Kids are always over there playing basketball. I figured if nothing else, I would at least find some old coins.”
The detector eventually picked something up.
“We had to dig down about 3 inches and found a class ring,” Ordway said.
“We have found other things like a harmonica, an old lighter that looks like a fire extinguisher, other jewelry, but never a class ring,” Nicole said. “This ring had a name on it.”
Through the use of an old high school yearbook and modern technology, the Ordways tracked down Seubert’s brother, Gregg Schumacher, who lives in Iola.
Gregg informed them Sheri was on her way to his house to watch the Packers game.
“I got to my brother’s house and was told some girl named Nicole called and said she found my class ring,” Seubert said. “I just couldn’t believe it.”
The ring was returned to her within an hour.
“The strangest part is that they found it in almost the exact place that I lost it 33 years ago,” Seubert said. “Sure, it has a few scratches on it and it needs to be polished, but other than that, it is in great condition.”
Jostens, the company where she had purchased the ring, recommended that she inscribe her name on the inside of the band.
“I am so glad I did,” Seubert said. “It would have been impossible to know whose it was otherwise.”
She feels blessed to have gotten it back.
“Never in a million years did I ever think I would get it back,” she said. “It is very touching that Paul and Nicole took the time to track me down.”
“This is the best find I have ever had,” Paul said. “When you find something like that, you definitely get it back to the person who lost it.”
For Nicole, seeing Seubert’s reaction to the ring is a good feeling.
“Seeing the look on her face was way better than finding the ring itself,” she said. “It made me want to cry. She thanked us over and over.”
Seubert will forever be grateful.
“Miracles do happen,” she said. “If you know Paul and Nicole, shake their hands for showing us there are still good, honest people in the world.”