The Midlands Community Foundation has announced that two couples— Harlan and Cherie Metschke, and Rick and Kyle Black — will receive the Reflection Award at the organization’s 2016 Reflection Ball on Jan. 16 at the Embassy Suites in La Vista.

The award honors an individual or individuals who have contributed to Sarpy and Cass counties.

Between the Blacks and Metschkes, the couples have nearly 150 years experience in education.

“We were truly surprised, humbled and it’s not one of those things we saw coming,” Rick Black said. “We look at the people they’ve honored in the past, and to be mentioned in the same breath with them is truly a humbling thought.”

Cherie Metschke has about 40 years of experience in education, most recently working as a reading specialist for Millard Public Schools before retiring in 2007.

Kyle Black worked as an assistant director of special education in Plattsmouth Public Schools in 2013 and has 27 years experience working in education.

The couples have known each other since the late 1980s, when Harlan and Rick were in different school districts but interacted in different state education meetings, and began working together in 1998.

“Through the years we’ve done a pretty good job of moving the district forward and doing some pretty good things with it,” Harlan Metschke said.

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