Fairlawn Elementary School received a $1000.00 check from the National VFW. The State Commander, T. Wayne Makham, presented the check to Principal Jennifer Hedeen at a faculty meeting with Superintendent Genelle Yost, Dr. Kevin Perry, and Lydia Martin in attendance. This donation to Fairlawn Elementary was a result of Shirley Helton (retired 5th grade teacher) receiving the national honor of VFW Teacher of the Year 2014. Mrs. Helton graciously accepted this award recently in St. Louis, Missouri. Mrs. Helton was nominated by Nell Moyers to the local chapter and then continued on to win at the state and national levels. Shirley Helton encouraged her students to show patriotism. This award was granted for her extensive citizenship activities, including patriotic studies, the constitution, and the continuous support her students gave to the soldiers and the military medics in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sue Keller, Allison Smith from the local VFW and Dr. Rosemary Ayers, VFW Ladies Auxiliary District 11 President, were also present as the donation was presented to the school principal.
The privilege of educating students on vital issues in history, patriotism, the strength and power of music and respect for our military and our veterans is evident at Northport K-8 School. The Northport K-8 School Media Center presented a beautiful and timeless program educating our students on the very somber issues of 9/11. The program began with a welcome from principal, Glenn Rustay and media specialist, Lynne Gruszka. Veteran Partners, teacher veterans on campus and guests were given a hearty welcome to the school. The pledge of Allegiance was led by sixth grader, Bradley Venneau. Kindergarten instructor, Tiffany Tredor played a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem on her violin. Students then heard reflections and viewed a beautiful, educational powerpoint used as a teaching tool to educate about the details of 9/11 and to highlight the children who perished on 9/11. Students were treated to primary source speaker, 9/11 First Responder, Detective Albert Hickey who touched guests hearts with his first hand account of his experiences at Ground Zero. Detective Hickey is truly a community leader who is leaving a great legacy. School Prevention Specialist, Maryanne Warren performed “Spoken Word Poetry” dedicated to the children of 9/11 and Sandra Tyndale-Harvey, Intensive reading teacher sang a heart wrenching rendition of “He Hears Us When We Cry!” The Northport Main Media Center was then dedicated with a large banner to the children of 9/11 by principal, Glenn Rustay, assistant principals, Lorie Monroe and Brooke Wiggington and Media Specialist, Lynne Gruszka.
Students moved to the flagpole and small flags were posted for each of the 8 children who were lost. Instructor and United States Army veteran, Nick Carey and his student, Nixon Adea raised the American flag. The flag is so important to Northport K-8 School because it was carried on the back on Alexander Babington, son of former teacher, Thomas Babington as his unit marched into Fallujah. That flag remained on Babington’s back through his entire tour in Iraq. The program was wrapped up with beautiful music, “God Bless America,” “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art!” It is the sincere pleasure of the Northport community to honor and educate together on this anniversary of this momentous and tragic anniversary. Thank you to Marcy Waltz and Suzette Scott, PTO parents for assisting and helping to make the program a wonderful event. Special thanks to our veterans and parents who attended the moving program.