Veterans Day is an important day for our nation to honor all who have served in the U.S. military, made especially meaningful for many with personal connections like San Angelo ISD’s nearly 800 military-connected students and our incredible veterans that are part of the San Angelo ISD team. This Veterans Day our schools paid tribute to veterans in a multitude of heartfelt ways, with one being a special program led by Lone Star Middle School Student Council students in support of the Wounded Warriors Project, a nonprofit organization that helps veterans and active duty service members.
This afternoon, spirited Lone Star students filled the gym fist-bumping and thanking veterans in attendance as patriotic songs welcomed them to a Veterans Day tribute student assembly highlighted by the Student Council’s presentation of funds raised for Wounded Warriors to retired United States Army Major Domingo Sedeno. Major Sedeno, a Central High School alum who served over 40 years in the Army and also substitutes for SAISD, was invited to receive the funds on behalf of Wounded Warriors as a recognition of his dedicated service both in the Army and to his community and as an opportunity for students and staff to honor him and all veterans. The Lone Star Middle School campus is home to some of our SAISD educators that are veterans, including Principal Amy Lemaster, Student Council Sponsor Branlin Yarbrough, Michael Adame, Karen Smith, Porfirio Flores and Michael McNeal, who were also recognized at the assembly and each received a gift of appreciation, a special challenge coin.
Born out of a goal to give back to the community while also providing students an opportunity to learn from, and help solve real-world matters, Lone Star Student Council students and Ms. Yarbrough collaborated to create a plan to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project and to communicate aspects of the nonprofit and build awareness of honoring our nation's veterans among the Lone Star student body. Students created videos and slideshows that they presented at the Veterans Day assembly including one sharing the mission of Wounded Warriors and one highlighting Lone Star staff veterans and veterans with ties to the school. Waves of applause reverberated through the gym when teachers' photos were shown. The presentation of the giant check to Major Sedeno revealing the grand total raised for Wounded Warriors of $1,350.06 was the climax and culmination of the hard work of the students.
“I am proud of the success I have seen, from the growth of the students, to the questions asked, to the funds raised. The students learned the value of freedoms, integrity, and more about our veterans and their sacrifices. They learned about the community and how we can help each other in the community. All of this is a success to me because our students succeeded. The students set a goal of $1,000 and they not only met this goal, but they exceeded it. They are proud of that, and I am proud of them. We are going to be able to help many individuals,” said Ms. Yarbrough. “I have had close friends use the services the Wounded Warrior Project provides, and I can’t think of a better way to give back. It shows our students at a young age that they can make a difference in someone’s life. I always tell them if we can help just one person, it’s all worth it. I want them to believe in themselves, and this is a great start.”
SAISD is proud of our Lone Star students and their creative, collaborative work to support and honor veterans through their special project to support the Wounded Warriors Project. Other ways SAISD students honored our veterans and their sacrifices include:
- Austin Elementary hosted a morning and an afternoon program by 3rd and 4th graders with special performances.
- Belaire Elementary had a wear red, white and blue day with a special welcome at drop off with thank you signs by students and staff at Belaire
- Bonham Elementary invited parents to walk around the school’s track this morning in honor of veterans. Stars created by students recognizing veteran family members were displayed along the track.
- Bowie Elementary hosted a morning celebration inviting veterans in the community for breakfast, to read stories and enjoy a special ceremony by 5th graders.
- Central High School held a morning flagpole ceremony with a Bobcat JROTC presentation of colors, taps and the National Anthem sung by a student. The CHS band, color guard and JROTC also participated in the City’s Veterans Parade last Saturday.
- Crockett Elementary hosted a program with performances by 4th graders including a bell choir performance, essay contest winner Ryan Lugo, a solo by Aubrey Groves, special guest speaker, veteran and pastor Scott Bradford, and recognizing veterans in attendance.
- Fort Concho Elementary will do a special event on Friday, November 12, and the spirit squad participated in the City’s Veterans Parade last Saturday.
- Glenn Middle School held a morning flag raising ceremony with a CHS JROTC presentation of the colors, and a ceremony honoring veterans and military families in the library that was shared by zoom to the entire campus.
- Glenmore Elementary will do a special event on Friday, November 12.
- Lamar Elementary created a special music program, recorded for parents and families to enjoy.
- Lake View High School band, Chiefettes and JROTC participated in the City’s Veterans Parade last Saturday.
- McGill Elementary held a special presentation of the colors by CHS JROTC and honored veterans at the event.
- Santa Rita Elementary put together a special recording event for Veteran families.
San Angelo ISD is proud to support our veterans, military-connected families and appreciates our partnership with Goodfellow Air Force Base. Special thanks to the Lone Star Student Council, band, choir and orchestra, Principal Lemaster, Ms. Yarbrough and Major Sedeno for your contributions to helping honor our deserving veterans today as well as to all of our campuses who created unique ways to pay tribute to our veterans. To stay up-to-date on San Angelo ISD, please visit the SAISD website at www.saisd.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.