Upper left: Veterans at Westerville North High School conduct a flag folding ceremony before students gathered in the gymnasium. Upper right: Huber Ridge students salute veterans. Left: Teacher and Army veteran Marty Wicks emcees the ceremony held at Heritage Middle School.
Veterans’ Day programs were held at a number of buildings throughout the Westerville City School District on Monday, November 11.
Westerville North High School, for example, hosted its third annual Veterans’ Day assembly, which featured, among other things, a flag folding ceremony. The band, choir and orchestra performed patriotic songs. Veterans in attendance were presented with tokens of appreciation for their service, which were made by engineering students in the school’s SHOP. Many stayed afterwards to speak in classrooms. Social Studies teacher Jennifer Carlson organized the event.
On Tuesday evening, November 5, the Westerville South High School Student Council sponsored a dinner where more than 200 pupils and staff gathered with local veterans from VFW Post 7883 and the American Legion at the first annual Veterans Appreciation Dinner in the South Commons. Students and veterans mingled while enjoying a performance from South’s Jazz Band and a display of military memorabilia throughout history, provided by Robert Croce, Jr. The evening included a dinner provided by Pasquales and a generous donation from BJ’s Brewhouse, as well as speeches from Abigail Olson, Gary Swank, and Alan Briggs.
Heritage Middle School staff and students honored veterans and active military in a ceremony that took place on November 11. Members of the American Legion Young-Budd Post 171 led the youngsters in a flag ceremony and shared their heroic stories of serving our country. Teacher and retired Army Captain Marty Wicks served as Master of Ceremonies. Choirs, led by Kim Marcum, and the 8th grade band, directed by Chris Kuhn, provided patriotic music. Students were asked to honor veterans in their lives by inviting them to the assembly or by providing pictures that were on display. Pupils Nabiha Mohamud, Cheyenne Leopold and Carlos Cordero sang and read tributes. Throughout the month, students collected supplies and wrote cards and letters that will be shipped to a special Marine unit living remotely on a base that does not have running water or food preparation facilities.
Huber Ridge Elementary School welcomed and honored more than 30 veterans and their families during a school wide assembly Monday. A Westerville Honor Guard joined the ceremony for the presenting and retiring of the colors. Guests Abby Harshbarger led the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, and Charles Vidourek performed Taps. Students sang This Land is Your Land, Grand Old Flag, God Bless the USA, and Thank You, Soldiers. Children spoke about Veteran’s Day during the assembly, and posted their work throughout the hallways. Veterans who could not attend were recognized on a Wall of Honor.
These activities are representative of what took place throughout the Westerville City School District to honor our veterans. Many other schools participated as well.