Deerfield resident Marcus Novak was looking for a way to put smiles on the faces of some bewildered high school seniors, who along with the rest of the world are going through the coronavirus pandemic.
Novak, owner of Marcus Novak Photography, takes senior photos. With Gov. Tony Evers’ Safer-at-Home order now extended through May 26, it would have made it difficult to have them come to his home. So he did the next best thing.
On Wednesday, April 15, Novak left his house at 6:30 a.m. and began hand-delivering poster-sized prints to his clients in Deerfield, Johnson Creek, Watertown and Jefferson.
“I did that for all my clients, I thought it would be kind of a cool way to thank them for the year, especially with the situation that we’re in right now,” said Novak. “It’s my way of giving them their fair shake. I didn’t have some of their addresses on file so I told a couple of them that I had a little gift for them, and they gave me their addresses.
“They were pretty surprised.”
Novak didn’t do all the deliveries alone. His daughter Peyton, 10, and son Beckett, 5, rode along and helped place the posters in the seniors’ yards as part of the surprise.
Photography is a side business for Novak, a business and marketing teacher in the Johnson Creek School District. This past winter he stepped down as co-head wrestling coach at the school after sharing duties with Matt Dressel the past 15 seasons.
“I wanted to spend more time with my kids,” he said, but also added, “I’ll tell you what, I didn’t know with this virtual learning that I’d be spending so much time with my kids.”
Novak has lived in Deerfield the past 14 years, where he began teaching, first as a student teacher in 2004 and then a long-term sub in 2005 before getting a full-time job in Johnson Creek.
Last Friday Deerfield participated in the #BeTheLightWI national campaign, illuminating John Polzin Field while recognizing and saluting the Class of 2020, along with all the students at Deerfield Public Schools. To honor this year’s seniors, Marcus Novak Photography, along with his wife Erin Bunbury-Novak of Bunbury Realtors, donated yard signs to recognize the seniors.
“I know some other photographers are charging $10 or $20, but we decided to just make them up for people to come by and pick them up at our house,” he said.