Okaloosa Schools Honor Veterans With Patriotic Events

Many schools throughout the School District held special Veterans Day Programs aimed at honoring and celebrating Veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson attended several of the presentations.

“I was amazed at some of the long recitations the children learned and the singing,” Jackson told the School Board members at the November 12 School Board meeting.  “It was a great experience and I appreciate our schools celebrating our Veterans the way they did.”

Lewis School

“We chose to emphasize the Homes for Heroes organization and efforts in our Veteran’s Day Ceremony this year at Lewis as a way to demonstrate to our students that we have a chance to apply the Law of Reciprocity to our veterans and military members and their families by impacting their daily lives in a pro-active way,” said Nancy Huerkamp, NBCT, Lewis School.  “Our celebration was primarily student scripted and produced.  Learning does not just occur within the confines of a classroom and rows of desks.  Some of the best learning opportunities come from experiences such as this.”

Student Marissa Martinez performed an interpretive dance to Nina Cassian’s classic poem, “A Man,” which is the story of a wounded warrior who lost an arm only to find, through his “enthusiastic” spirit and determination to live his life, that in its place . . . “a wing grew.”   

“We dedicated the poem in honor of our speaker, Kelly Hale, who identifies herself as an EOD Army wife, mission spokesperson, and warrior advocate,” said Huerkamp.

Kenwood Elementary School

Kenwood Elementary School spent the day with activities centered on Veterans Day and the importance of showing and being patriotic. The day began with the student body hosting a parade in honor of our troops. Brigadier General David Harris, Lieutenant Colonel Daniel D. Mattioda, 33rd Maintenance Squadron of Eglin Air Force Base and the Pryor Jazz Ensemble were our special guests; as well as parents and other family members.

Soldiers from the 33rd also read patriotic stories to individual classrooms and answered questions from students. The Student Council collected over 700 items such as puzzles, games and books to send to our troops overseas. A representative from Eglin AFB came to pick up the items. These goods will be mailed to our troops and included in Christmas boxes.

 A "Wall of Fame" is currently being displayed at the school that shows the names of family and student members serving in the armed forces, now or in the past.

Eglin Elementary School

Eglin Elementary School fourth grade students presented a Veteran’s Day Program entitled “You Are Our Heroes!”

The fourth grade chorus, under the direction of Sandy Day, treated the audience to a variety of patriot songs including Heart of America, You Are Our Heroes, and Thankful for the USA.  Several fourth grade students shared special quotes and America’s White Table.  Carl Winters presented the Presidential Proclamation, Kiyana Gallagher presented a quote from President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Trinity Earle presented We Owe This Debt to America’s Veterans, Madison Swearingen presented Veteran’s Day, Olivia Lasso presented National Holiday, and Brianna Beauchamp, Kaitlyn Canterbury, Darrius Corral, Thomas Sipes, Elizabeth Agner, and Brooklyn Castleberry presented America’s White Table.

Colonel Todd D. Canterbury, Commander 33rd Fighter Wing, was the guest speaker and the Niceville High School Jr. ROTC presented the colors.

Shoal River Middle School

Shoal River Middle School’s Veteran’s Day presentation featured performances by the Band, Chorus, and Dance team.  One of the highlights of the afternoon was the Band’s performance of the Armed Forces Medley.  The audience was asked to stand up when their cadence was played. 

Pryor Middle School

Click here to see the Northwest Florida Daily News story on Pryor Middle Schools Veterans Day Pep Rally.


Please visit the OCSD Facebook page to see a complete photo gallery of Veterans Day activities.