Students honor and learn about military service
By ASHLEIGHA GROSSI, KORI GRIEB AND CADENCE GRIEB
For The Express
MILL HALL — On Friday, Nov. 8 a new tradition began at Central Mountain Middle School. The seventh grade Renaissance Leaders decided to honor our veterans by planning a Veterans Day assembly and scheduling guest speakers to talk to the social studies classes.
Sergeant Erik Wunder and Master Sergeant Allen Frantz spoke to the seventh grade classes about their experiences in the military. Sgt. Wunder (father of Owen Wunder, 7th grade) shared his adventures around the world with the U. S. Army National Guard while MSgt. Frantz (grandfather of Cora Myers, 7th grade) shared his U. S. Army stories and also explained how he has trained dogs to serve as companions for veterans.
Former CMMS principal, Mr. Justin Evey, shared his training and active duty experiences in the United States Marine Corps. Cpl. Evey gave the eighth grade students a first-hand account of what it was like to step into the famous yellow footprints of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.
Current eighth grade social studies teacher, Mr. Chad Laubscher, shared his experiences in the United States Army. Sgt. Laubscher led his classes in meaningful discussions related to his service to our country.
Sergeant Terry Banfill spoke to all of the sixth grade classes about the American flag and taught them all about flag etiquette. The sixth grade students will be given the responsibility of raising the flag at the beginning of the school day as well as taking the flag down and folding it properly at the end of each day.
All of the guest speakers were invited to a luncheon in the CMMS library on Friday and they received special seating at the Veterans Day assembly.
CMMS principal, Mr. David Peters, recognized each veteran while the seventh grade Renaissance Leaders saluted them upon entering the assembly. Among those honored were KCSD school board vice president, Mr. Roger Elling, who is also the Veterans Service Officer for the Centre County Veterans’ Affairs, and Jennifer Hagaman from Clinton County Veterans’ Affairs.
The CMMS chorus, lead by Mr. Michael Connor, sang The Star Spangled Banner as well as The Song for the Unsung Heroes to honor the veterans.
Students from Mrs. Strouse’s seventh grade social studies classes read the “America Is…” poems that they wrote in honor of the veterans. The assembly ended with a variety of boot camp training games that the students and teachers participated in.
Then, on Sunday, Nov. 10 there was a Veterans Day concert sung by the Central Mountain Middle School chorus and the Lock Haven University choir. Both groups were conducted by Mr. Connor, the music teacher at CMMS and choir director at LHU. It was a celebration of song and service to our country!
On Monday, Nov. 11 the students at Central Mountain Middle School continued to honor our veterans by hosting a Penny War to raise money to feed our local veterans.
Owen Wunder organized the fundraising event in partnership with the Clinton County Veterans Affairs Office and the Central PA Food Bank MilitaryShare program. Throughout the week, students brought in pennies to give their homeroom classes positive points. They also brought in nickels, dimes, and quarters to give other homeroom classes negative points.
Over the course of the week, the students raised over $1,700! This provided over 10,000 meals for military families in Clinton County!
With the help of Renaissance Club Advisor, Mrs. Christina Onuskanich, and CMMS music teacher, Mr. Michael Connor, the seventh grade Renaissance Leaders were able to plan a tradition that will hopefully continue to grow at Central Mountain Middle School.
A very special thanks goes out to everyone who helped with these events and to all of the veterans who have made this day possible!