Circleville High School – Decorated hallways. Catered lunches. Speaking panels, signing day, and more. On Friday, November 9th, CHS played host to military personnel of the past, present, and future with our Day of Honor Ceremony and student Signing Day.
The festivities started in the high school Alumni Room and Media Center as our veterans speaking panel utilized their platform to talk with students about their time in the service and to pass along their first-hand accounts to the next generation.
High school sophomore Lexi Fletcher was just one of the several hundred students who had the opportunity to be a fly on the wall to such stories of history, honor, and resilience with her government class today.
“I have family who has served in the military and I love to hear [the veteran’s] stories because it brings me joy,” said Fletcher. “They talked about respect and attitude which stood out to me.”
From the onset, panelists set the tone for the day as they discussed tragedies, triumphs, leadership, and called upon an undying love for one’s country through their individual stories.
“To hear what they have to say is truly amazing and to hear what they went through it heartbreaking, but also amazing in that we have such freedoms thanks to them,” said Fletcher.
Following the morning speaking panels, students and staff transitioned to an all-building Signing Day assembly as we honored veterans of the past, but had eyes on the future. CHS seniors Isaac (Vita) Torres-Sigmon and Justin Walker, in front of family, friends, veterans, and recruiters, reaffirmed their intent to enlist upon graduation in May with a signing day ceremony.
The event was kicked off by the CHS Jazz Ensemble who welcomed in guests to the gymnasium with a variety of jazz and swing tunes before setting the tone for the afternoon with the playing of the National Anthem.
Staff Sgt. Brad Adams, of the Ohio Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Batallion, provided the keynote address talking with students and staff about the opportunities a career in the United States Army has afforded him and the values the ‘commitment to serve’ calls for before setting the stage for the Signing Day presentation.
At ceremony’s conclusion, Mr. Kurt Young, CHS’ Dean of Students, presented Todd Huffman of the Pickaway County Veterans Services Commission with a $1,400 donation in the form of gift cards from our Circleville Jeans-for-Vets fundraiser to be used to assist local county veterans in need. At dismissal, students poured out of the stands to come down and thank their peers for enlisting and thank the veterans for their service.
Circleville City Schools would like to thank Isaac, Justin, and our Day of Honor veterans and guests for their commitment to the freedoms we have been afforded and for their past and upcoming service to their country. Specifically, we would like to thank our veterans panelists listed as follows for their roles in preserving the importance of Veterans Day with our students: Bob and Marilyn Johnson, Kenny Kirk, Glen Easterday, Ron Ertel, Jerry Jackson, Steve Garrett, Robert Kuhlwein, Gene Patterson, Mack Shaw, and Tim Allen.
Additionally, the district would like to extend its gratitude to the following individuals and groups for their expertise and support in hosting today’s events.
- Todd Huffman and Margi Pettibone of the Pickaway County Veterans Services Commission
- Staff Sgt. Brad Adams of the Ohio Army National Guard
- Mr. Doug Espie and the Circleville High School Jazz Ensemble
- Mrs. Kathy Ream’s culinary arts class and Mrs. Gerhardt’s Food Services teams for providing desserts and food for our catered lunch
- Mrs. Soni Grady’s art students for decorating the hallways and setting the stage for the day’s distinguished guests
- Mr. Kurt Young, the Circleville Education Association, and CCS staff for their efforts in participating in the Jeans-for-Vets fundraiser
- Mr. Eric Evans and the CHS Social Studies Department