Gabrielle McGinnis held the flag for the Pledge of Allegiance
Waynetonian Choir opens up the assembly with the "Star Spangled Banner" under the direction of Jared Duncan
Rileigh Strunk sang a solo - "Everyday Heroes"
Hayden Davis offered a reading
Brayden Koontz participated
Jade Baker thanked veterans
Tate Bertram contributed to the thank yous
SGT Noah Rice, a veteran who served seven years in National Guard shared information about the military
Asst. Principal Mitchell Gregory shared thoughts with the children regarding thankfulness
Army Reserve SFC Tim Bertram and his son Tate. SFC Bertram shared information with his son's third grade class after the assembly.
Monticello Elementary Veterans table showing Veteran Noah Rice's military belongings
Children looking at the Veterans table
Wayne County Schools celebrate Veterans during assemblies
Wayne County Schools recently celebrated veterans through a variety of teachable moments in
age-appropriate ways. Three of the schools held assemblies with special speakers and patriotic
presentations, while others incorporated Veteran’s Day into their classroom curriculum. It was all about
developing an appreciation for their sacrifice.
Bell Elementary’ s program was unique because they got a glimpse of their school’s “Adopt a
Soldier” Sgt. Aaron Ambrosino, currently serving in Kuwait, through a SKYPE feed. While they only got to
see him briefly on the large flat screen monitor in the gymnasium; more importantly, he was able to
watch most of their program on his cell phone. The students performing from Rhonda Ward’s second
grade class, along with over 400 first and second graders in the audience, got to wave to him at the
conclusion of the program. The school has sent him boxes of cards and gifts already this school year and
will be sending more to the soldier for Christmas. Their program featured the JROTC Color Guard and
the students presented hearts to soldier Joshua Hancock, who was second grader Kaleb Hancock’s dad.
The Adopt a Soldier coordinator Susan Helms said their soldier is from North Carolina, and has
been overwhelmed and very appreciative by the support from Bell Elementary. He has previously served
in five tours to Afghanistan.
Another highlight on campus regarding Veterans Day was at Monticello Elementary School.
School Social Worker Noah Rice, who served seven years in the National Guard and was deployed
overseas for 16 months, was the featured speaker. He shared a display of his military gear so students
could get an up-close look. Special guest PVC Tim Bertram, father of third grader Tate Bertram, was
honored for his service. He spoke to his son’s class after the ceremony in Katina Shearer’s classroom.
School Social Worker Noah Rice, who served seven years in the Army National Guard and was deployed
overseas for 16 months, was the featured speaker. He explained how the military is broken into
branches to the children. He shared information on a soldier’s day and how he trained as a helicopter
mechanic. Several students participated in the program, with the Waynetonian Choir performing
beautiful patriotic music.
Wayne County High School JROTC cadets hosted a veteran’s program for the student body,
honoring several of the local DAV members who were in attendance. Veterans in the audience had a
chance to salute their military flag as it was presented by the JROTC Color Guard. The JROTC Cardinal
Battalion clad in their dress uniforms welcomed the visitors and set the tone for the special event.
JROTC Commander Adrian Martin thanked those who had served in the United States Armed
Forces. He introduced Sergeant First Class (Retired) Allen Denny, a 1997 Wayne County High School
graduate, as the keynote speaker. He said SFC (R.) Denny served in many leadership positions from
Team Leader to Infantry Company First Sergeant. His combat tours and operational deployments have
included Operation Enduring Freedom/Afghanistan (three tours), Operation Iraqi Freedom/IRAQ (one
Having served a total of 42 months in combat, he said families sacrifice the most when soldiers
are deployed. “My son, Connor Denny (WCHS junior) can answer any questions you might have about
He spoke about the comradery amongst soldiers who serve together and the bond that is
created amongst them. He said veterans walk amongst people every day and it means the world to
them to tell them thank you for their service.
Veteran’s Day was definitely focused on at Wayne County Schools, as students were educated
on military service.