Happenings on November 11, 2014

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Celebrating Veterans’ Day, November 11, 2014, Rappahannock County Public Schools’ Band Boosters hosted a presentation to honor our veterans. Highlights of the program included the Rappahannock County Panther Band which provided an outstanding performance, the Boy Scout Troop 36 which presented the colors, and the many flags placed by our student body, circling the front lawn in honor and memory of our veterans. The Rappahannock County School Board Chair, Colonel John Lesinski, USMC (retired) was the guest speaker. Mr. Lesinski’s speech highlighted notable remarks and a challenge to the student body as he recognized the veterans in our community, acknowledging them as “public servants of the highest order” and suggesting ways we can “give back” to our community and our veterans.

Using the concept of a “snow plow,” he suggested a snow plow family is one in which a parent or family member “clears the way of all obstructions and challenges so that their child does not have to face adversity or failure.” He suggested ways in which our youth of today can refrain from becoming “snow plow” children and can give back to the community, fostering pride and respect within the community. Mr. Lesinski shared, “Rappahannock is a county of engaged citizens, made up of both young and old, that understands the value of community service. The seeds of giving back have been planted in your lives by your parents, families, teachers and mentors.” He encouraged the students to take up the challenge and to find purpose in giving back to this wonderful community, through service learning and volunteerism; thereby, refraining from following the path of the “snow plow.” His encouragement continued as he suggested students follow the words and actions of the late President John F. Kennedy who stated, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

After having attended the assembly, our guest, State Delegate Mike Webert, visited Rappahannock County Public Schools as part of the “Invite Your Legislature to School” month and talked to classes at both the high school and the elementary school. At the high school, Delegate Webert visited with Mr. Rinella’s Government classes, sitting in the class for over an hour, responding to questions and sharing his life and political experiences with the students. His relaxed demeanor and honest answers provided a valuable learning experience for our seniors, giving them an insight into the workings of the Virginia General Assembly and the daily life of a publicly elected representative.

Delegate Webert then went to the elementary school, where he shared his experience with the entire seventh grade, all of whom take a civics class as part of their curriculum. The highlight of the elementary school visit was seeing our delegate guide the seventh graders through a unique political experience, having them follow Virginia House rules and procedures to make a sandwich that the group could democratically approve. He led a debate which resulted in votes over the type of bread, meat, and condiments. In the completion of the exercise, the students had a clearer understanding of the processes involved in turning ideas into laws.

As you can see our Veteran’s day was filled with excitement, challenges, and a new understanding of country, volunteerism, and dedication to the roots that our forefathers have established. We are appreciative to our Band Boosters for working so hard to bring another wonderful Veteran’s Day program to Rappahannock County Schools and to our delegate for visiting us on this day.    

– Dr. Donna Matthews, superintendent

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