New Canaan Public Schools Honors Our Veterans on Veterans Day with Special Programming throughout the District
On Veterans Day this year, New Canaan Public Schools honored our veterans with programs throughout the district that included several dozen Veterans visiting schools as guests of honor and speaking to students, special assemblies and programs, music performances, and hallway displays reflecting students’ heartfelt gratitude and thanks. “The New Canaan Public School’s goal of preparing our students to succeed in a dynamic and complex global society would not be possible without the time honored sacrifices and achievements of our veterans,” said Dr. Jill Correnty, NCPS Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. “We are pleased to be able to recognize these efforts throughout the district on Veterans Day.”
All three elementary schools began the day with morning events. East School welcomed more than 20 Veterans from the community that included parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and great-grandparents, joining in a program that both honored our veterans and educated East students. Fourth grade members of the East Ambassadors student group greeted guests as they arrived. A Color Guard presentation of the American flag by Fourth grade Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in full uniform opened the assembly. The program consisted of patriotic songs, information about each branch of service, the history of Veterans Day, and introductions of each of the guest of honor Veterans.
South School’s annual Veterans Day Assembly welcomed 11 guest of honor Veterans and their families. Beginning the morning program, flag-bearing students led Veterans into a school assembly program where Third and Fourth Graders presented a readers' theater virtual field trip presentation to Washington D.C. that involved a spoken word and slide presentation. Fifth grade students continued their annual collection for Homes for Our Troops, and over 325 pounds of excess Halloween candy was sent to Operation Gratitude, which ships the candy to troops stationed abroad in care packages, to the West Haven Veterans Hospital, and the Rocky Hill Veterans Home.
West School welcomed guest of honor Veteran Sonia Schott, a former West School parent, an Odyssey of the Mind coach at West, and a major in the United States Army. Major Schott shared with students, who were all dressed in red, white and blue, what it is like to serve our country. Students sang the “Marines Song,” “I Love My Country” (a song using sign language), and “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” among other favorites.
Saxe Middle School began its Veterans Appreciation Day program by welcoming 30 guest of honor Veterans with the Saxe band and orchestra students performing a welcoming medley of patriotic songs in the front lobby. Members of the Student Leadership Team served as escorts accompanying visiting veterans into classrooms, where they spoke during core academic periods. There was a special flag folding ceremony as part of the day’s educational activities, and Saxe students made thank you cards that will be delivered to the West Haven Veterans Hospital and the New Canaan Veteran Homebound Human Services Division.
Completing the district’s Veterans Day events, New Canaan High School welcomed a group of guest of honor Veterans to address its Grade 11, U.S. History and American Studies class, which included veterans from the local community and from other communities. Two veterans were NCPS teachers, one was a guidance counselor's father, and two veterans were graduates of New Canaan High School. Morning announcements on Veterans Day also contained a special Veterans Day message for all students.
“The New Canaan Public Schools are proud to welcome and honor our Veterans and are forever grateful for their selfless service to our nation,” said Dr. Bryan Luizzi, NCPS Superintendent of Schools.
A. James Bach, Sergeant, U.S. Army, shakes the hand of appreciative Saxe middle schooler Annika Khurana after speaking to a group of 5th graders about his time in Korea from 1952-1954. Also pictured, Emerson Culliss (left) and Egor Vasilyev (center). Almost two dozen men and women who served in our country’s military spent Veterans Day sharing their experiences with students to help them gain a deeper understanding of veterans’ contributions to our country and our world. Photo: Karen Charlton