Veterans in the classroom and Veterans in our classrooms

Veterans in the classroom and Veterans in our classrooms

IMG_7832r2At Citrus County School District’s annual ‘Welcome Back Teachers’ Conference on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 Superintendent of Schools, Sandra “Sam” Himmel honored a special group of people in our community and schools, our military veterans.  Superintendent Himmel asked area military organizations’ Honor Guards to open the conference.

After the Pledge of Allegiance, Superintendent Himmel asked representatives of our Veterans in the Classroom program to join her on stage.  These amazing team of over 80 veterans each year make individual visits to our school classrooms to share about their service in the military and what it means to serve.

What Superintendent Himmel did next was to ask every teacher that is a military veteran to come and join the other veteran up front.

As these men and women came up front I watched as the brotherhood of their shared service immediately came through.  Some were meeting for the first time and honoring one another.  I couldn’t help but heard one veteran turn to CRHS teacher retired Air Force Master Sergeant Thomas O’ Brien and say, “how long did you serve?”  O’Brien gentle replied, “20 years, Air Force”.

These are veterans in our classrooms every day.  Citrus has a rich tradition of teachers who are military veterans, including former Prisoner of war heroes, C.I.A. Intelligent Officers and those that have served in every major war or conflict over the last hundred years.  These are just some of the military veterans that our teaching in our schools today: MSG Thomas O’ Brien, U.S.A.F (Ret.); Sr. Chief Ira Sparkman, U.S.N. (Ret.); Warrant Officer Elizabeth Rivera, U.S.N. (Ret.); LTC Dave Brown, U.S.A. (Ret.); former-MSG Dean Kelly U.S.A.; Col. Dennis Yamrose, U.S.A.F (Ret.); former-Lt Brady Hannett U.S.A.F (Ret.); MILITARY VETERAN Eric Brown: MILITARY VETERAN Robert LeCours; MILITARY VETERAN Bill Nelson, and many many more.  In addition to these great service men and women in our classrooms are the addition of non-instructional staff persons that work in our schools and departments.  At the top of our district leadership educators is our current Assistant Superintendent, former-Capt. Michael Mullen, U.S.A.

We are so grateful for the example they are to our young people.  They are living examples of what service to country is.  They are essential in administration and instruction of our successful programs like our Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. They are critical to leadership in our district and schools.  They are examples of the high quality of our staff.  They are the teachers that impact our young people’s lives.

To each and every one of them, we respectfully and gratefully say, “Thank you! And God bless you!”


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