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Students Use Talents to Thank Veterans

Master+Sergeant+Chief+Charles+Ballard+sharing+his+speech+about+his+own+and+others%27+experiences+serving+in+the+military+as+students+listen+attentively.+The+speech+was+intended+to+be+one+of+the+ways+that+Vice+Principals+Cyndi+Bell+and+Tim+Ridley+could+emphasize+the+importatance+of+veterans+during+the+assembly.+%22I+visited+the+Philippines%2C+Hong+Kong%2C+Korea%2C+Japan+and+Hawaii+all+within+my+first+eight+months+in+the+Navy+at+18+years+old%2C%22+said+Ballard.
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Students Use Talents to Thank Veterans

Master Sergeant Chief Charles Ballard sharing his speech about his own and others' experiences serving in the military as students listen attentively. The speech was intended to be one of the ways that Vice Principals Cyndi Bell and Tim Ridley could emphasize the importatance of veterans during the assembly.

Master Sergeant Chief Charles Ballard sharing his speech about his own and others' experiences serving in the military as students listen attentively. The speech was intended to be one of the ways that Vice Principals Cyndi Bell and Tim Ridley could emphasize the importatance of veterans during the assembly. "I visited the Philippines, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and Hawaii all within my first eight months in the Navy at 18 years old," said Ballard.

Molly Shannon

Master Sergeant Chief Charles Ballard sharing his speech about his own and others' experiences serving in the military as students listen attentively. The speech was intended to be one of the ways that Vice Principals Cyndi Bell and Tim Ridley could emphasize the importatance of veterans during the assembly. "I visited the Philippines, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and Hawaii all within my first eight months in the Navy at 18 years old," said Ballard.

Molly Shannon

Molly Shannon

Master Sergeant Chief Charles Ballard sharing his speech about his own and others' experiences serving in the military as students listen attentively. The speech was intended to be one of the ways that Vice Principals Cyndi Bell and Tim Ridley could emphasize the importatance of veterans during the assembly. "I visited the Philippines, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and Hawaii all within my first eight months in the Navy at 18 years old," said Ballard.

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Oh say can you see by the commemoration we owe to our veterans.

Several war veterans were recognized and there was a guest speaker in an assembly Monday  to celebrate Veterans Day.

As a veteran of the Navy himself, Master Sergeant Chief Charles Ballard’s speech regarding his own service in the military, as well as motivating students to achieve their own goals, constituted the majority of the assembly. The assembly also included student participation, including the choir and color guards performance. Veterans who are currently teachers were recognized for their service as well.

The assembly started first with the changing of the colors, done by the color guard. It was followed by the choir’s rendition of the national anthem, led by choir teacher Carrie Gary. Teacher Larry Williams then acknowledged each branch of the military before Senior Jacob Hall led the school in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a portion of the concert band performing “America the Beautiful”, led by band teacher Trevor Ervin.

Social studies teacher Monty Edwards, a veteran himself, introduced the main speaker Ballard, who served in the Navy for 20 years. As former members of the military, Ballard’s family was recognized for their service as well and seated alongside Ballard before he began his speech. His speech began by asking all educators to stand so that everyone could recognize and thank them for their service of dedicating their life to educating the younger generation. He then described the process that led to him serving in the navy, which began when he was in high school and would result in twenty years of naval service. Ballard discussed the importance of building motivation whilst having an optimistic attitude in order to achieve your goals.

After detailing the heroic actions of B.N. 1 Williams during the Halloween Massacre, Ballard said “I tell this story because, during the journey of life, you will, if you have not already, encounter obstacles or potholes during your journey. The challenge is to navigate your way around, over, under, or whatever it takes by altering your course and speed to achieve your ultimate goal. Positive mental attitude will get you there.”

Charger Alumni Cole Green was mentioned by Ballard for his service flying navy jets. Recruited and given his first salute at graduation by Ballard himself, Green proves to be a prominent example of students putting forth the hard work it requires to accomplish their goals.

In the military, it is a tradition to read “Old Glory” when a veteran retires and pass the flag from each rank that that service member has achieved. Therefore, Ballard proceeded to read Old Glory towards the end of his speech. After reminding students of their ability to make a difference in the world, Ballard concluded his speech by asking the students to thank a veteran for their service.

Ballard ended his speech by saying “I loved serving our country and this community. I ask for each of you to thank a veteran for their service to our great country. If you see someone struggling, lend them a helping hand. Be kind to one another. There’s entirely too much hatred in our country. Show respect to all. Together we can make change. God bless each of you, and God bless America.”

The choir then made a second performance by singing “Lean On Me”. Principal Chris Mason halted the assembly by asking students to thank the concert band, the combined choirs, the Military Readiness club and the color guard and reminding students to recognize and appreciate the service that veterans have made for their own enjoyment of freedoms. Edwards and Williams were also thanked for their service in the military prior to becoming teachers. The veterans were then given the opportunity to exit the gym first to further honor their service to the country.

Although the planning and setting up of the assembly was a group effort from the teachers and administrative team, Assistant Principals Cyndi Bell and Tim Ridley are due the most credit for the process. They wanted to ensure that the assembly gave the veterans the honor and respect that they deserve, so they worked with some of the recruiters to make that happen. Because our current generation of students are constantly dwelling on the negativity, Bell claims that she viewed the assembly as a way to instead dwell on the freedoms that these veterans gave us and that we often times take for granted. Both principals agree that the assembly went as planned in that the students behaved respectfully and the guest speaker, band, choir and color guard all performed seamlessly.

“We found a guest speaker. We wanted to find somebody who connected with students [and was] from the community who we knew would be a great speaker overall. From there, we knew that these type of assemblies really go well with music so we invited our band and choir and asked them what type of things they would like to sing or what things they would be available to sing,” said Bell.

The goals Bell had for the assembly seemed to be achieved in how the students listened respectfully to the speaker and each performance.

 

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