American flags lined the street and hallways at East Antioch Elementary. Students and staff members organized a very special Veterans Day event as they partnered with Spectrum and The History Channel in “Take a Veteran to School” event. See a video.
A reception was hosted in the cafeteria where hand-made thank you cards and letters decorated the tables. Sixth grade students presented speeches of recognition and gratitude.
The Shawnee Mission North Crimson Tide Jazz Ensemble welcomed guests to the celebration event in the gym with a rendition of “America the Beautiful.” Felicia Netolicky, East Antioch principal, thanked veterans for their courage, pride, determination, grit, selflessness, and integrity.
The Shawnee Mission Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) led by Chief Warrant Officer, Dennis Grayless presented the colors. They also conducted a rifle demonstration.
Two sixth grade students gave speeches noting that veterans contribute to the strength and safety of the community.
The East Antioch Choir under the direction of Nina Williams, music teacher, sang each song of the five armed services branches including the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy. As their service song was sung Veterans stood and were thanked by the audience.
“This has been one of the best school celebration ceremonies I have attended,” Neal J. Gilb, Director, Government and Community Strategy for Charter Communications, said.
The event concluded with a presentation of a $500 check to the SM North NJROTC from Spectrum.
“They asked me about making a donation, stating it was intended for one of the branches of military service,” Netolicky explained. “I asked what about future service men and women and they agreed to support the SM North NJROTC.”
“It was a wonderful partnership. I hope our Veterans felt our immense gratitude and appreciation,” Netolicky noted.