Northport K-8 School was delighted to host retired United States Navy Lt. Commander Jerry Padrta recently as a guest speaker for students in Nick Carey, Georgia Stone, Carla Caldwell, Mindi Slater and Tracey Healy’s fifth and middle grades classes. LCDR Padrta spoke to the students about his upbringing as a child in Northern Minnesota, the hardships and the driving cold weather. He spoke about his school and college experience and perhaps most intriguing to the students and teachers, his naval career spent in a submarine. Padrta gave an eye opening talk about the history of the submarine. The first sub was used in the Revolutionary War in 1777 and was made of wood and steel, he continued the discussion about the great submarine, the Hunley which sank three times and killed all men on board. He spoke about the first ship built by the United States Navy called the Holland in 1900 and the first diesel electric submarines used during WWII. He encouraged students to be tough, face life’s challenges head on and be prepared for the 21st century job market. He also spoke to students about nuclear submarines and energy sources. The students thrilled at the sound of the Claxson bell being rung as Padrta explained that the bell is the common form of communication recognized by all submariners. It means, “Dive, dive, dive!” He also came prepared with a five foot replica of a WWII submarine that the students deeply inspected. The discussion was a great learning experience for students and a primary source is always a welcome and much needed part of the learning and critical thinking experience. Pictured from left are veterans Bill Arnold, Jerry Padrta and Charles Lomonica with several Northport students.