IW schools celebrate veterans

Published 7:16 pm Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Students and staff in Isle of Wight County Schools celebrated veterans throughout the week of Veterans Day.

Smithfield High participated in a Veteran’s Day ceremony at the Isle of Wight County War Memorial. A choral ensemble featuring Lyric Slaughter, Alexis Brooks and Kaylea Manners sang an a cappella version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and a JROTC color guard comprised of cadets Kayla Atkinson, Jenna Dashiell, Mikayla Cabaong, and Marissa Giles presented the colors for the ceremony. Raymond Melillo, a jazz band student at SHS, accompanied the ensemble on “The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B,” an iconic World War II era song.

Smithfield Middle students participated in a virtual Veterans Day ceremony with student demonstrations of proper American flag folding technique by Boy Scouts Gavin Jeffers, Jake West, Chris Pettit and Matt Pettit. Eighth-grader Makayla McLean read a special poem while the trio of Alessandro Straltslov, Tristan Walker and Jake West performed a rendition of Taps. The video can be viewed on the Smithfield Middle School Facebook page.

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And despite the rain, students and staff at Westside Elementary didn’t let the weather stop them from celebrating veterans throughout the community on Nov. 12. As veterans drove through the bus loop at the school, they were greeted with signs, cheers and numerous displays of patriotism. On hand were teacher Karen Pryor, a 24-year veteran of the Air Force, and teacher Erica Newcomb, who retired from the Navy after 21 years. Both wore their military uniforms as they welcomed veterans who participated in the event.

Grayson Foster and Ellie Holland, two students in the Little Sprouts Early Childhood Education program in Julie Branch’s class at Windsor Elementary School had their own special tribute to veterans. Dressed in replica military outfits, the two waved a flag and garnered a salute in appreciation for all those who served in the armed forces.

Georgie Tyler Middle students Samantha Gayle Smith, McKenzie Jenison and Sydney Brinkley also shared creative essays in honor of veterans on “What Patriotism Means to Me.” Their essays are available on the school’s website.