Remarkable Community Service Experiences
On November 10, all three divisions held assemblies to recognize and honor all the veterans who have sacrificed to serve and protect us. Middle and Upper School students were inspired by the story of 1st Lieutenant Lindsey Jefferies, the first African American female pilot for the North Carolina Army National Guard.
"It’s the true meaning of service when you put your country and its well-being ahead of yourself. Sharing this example with our students is important," said Matt Less, Head of Upper School.
Head of Middle School, Warren Sepkowitz, added, “In celebrating our veterans, we're helping students make the connection between those who came before us and sacrificed immensely so that we have the opportunity to live in a democratic society where one can cast a ballot as many did in early November.”
In Lower School, students learned about veterans and the sacrifices they make, as well as showed their appreciation in multiple ways. Lower School science teacher Lori Townsend, who led the planning of the Veteran’s Day activities, said: “We are looking forward to honoring the many heroes among us, both past and present, in hopes that we will inspire the heroes of the future.”
An American flag, made with the handprints of junior kindergarten and kindergarten students, was reproduced on postcards for first through fourth graders to write notes of gratitude to veterans. These postcards were distributed to local organizations that support our veterans, such as Our Bridge Home and the VA Hospital. The flag was on display in the theater for the Lower School assembly and then donated to the VA Hospital.
Leading up to Veteran’s Day the entire Lower School community was asked to submit photographs of the veterans in their families, which were included in a slideshow, The Heroes Among Us, that rolled on a loop prior to the assembly. It was fun to hear the children cheer and clap as they saw the photos submitted by their friends and teachers.
The Lower School assembly included words from Plant Operations directors Greg Walters and Rick Bone, and second-grade teacher Beth Brady, whose son, Patrick ’13 serves in the military. The special guest speaker was Eric Strumpf, class of 1989, who served in the Air Force for 20 years. Lt. Col Eric Strumpf engaged the students with lots of questions and shared lessons about the power of kindness and the duty of each of them to stand up to unkindness, bullying, and intolerance with conviction and courage. We were also delighted to recognize students’ parent and grandparent veterans who visited Lower School to share their stories with individual classes.
"Making time to honor veterans shows students concretely what it means to serve others and make sacrifices for the larger community," said Adele Paynter, Head of Lower School.