VCSD Celebrates Veterans
The VCHS Pep Band Participated in Village of Walden Veteran's Day Ceremony
On Sunday, November 10th, members of the VCHS Pep Band, under the direction of Daniel Walker, participated in the Veteran's Day Ceremony in the Village of Walden.
Montgomery Elementary School Hosted a “Salute to Veterans”
Montgomery Elementary School Assistant Principal, Jane Malley, believes children learn best through experience and so planned a “Salute to Veterans” for the third, fourth and fifth graders that allowed students to understand the importance of sacrifice for country and gave them an opportunity to thank local veterans for fighting for their freedom. She was inspired by a conversation with D.A.R.E Officer Jack Smith (a Navy veteran) who suggested the idea after MES children attended a Village Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony last year.
On Friday, November 8th, area veterans wearing uniforms and insignia from the Maybrook VFW and the American Legion were honored guests at Montgomery Elementary. The event was attended by all of the district Central Office Administration which includes Superintendent John Xanthis, Deputy Superintendent Michael Bellarosa, Assistant Superintendent, Marianne Serratore and Business Official, Brad Conklin along with Village Mayor, Steve Brescia.
The children made red construction paper poppies for the veterans. Third grade teacher Sara Carter, presented stars created from worn flags made by her grandmother to the veterans along with one of her students whose mother was present as a veteran. Fourth grade students read thank you cards that they had written. Each veteran received a thank you card. The JROTC from VCHS attended to present the colors.
Orange County Executive, Steve Neuhaus, who has just returned from serving our country in the Navy as part of a special unit in warfare this summer, addressed the children and assembly. He remarked that he believes that Montgomery is the most patriotic village in all of Orange County and he thanked Principal Matt Canino and Asst. Principal Jane Malley for the tribute, which he said was unique- he said he couldn’t think of another school district in the county that was holding such a salute.
Tech. Sgt. William Gasparetti, a VC graduate, presented Principal Matt Canino with a flag that was flown in support of Operation Inherent Resolve on April 16, 2019. Tech. Sgt. Gasperetti’s wife, Catherine Gasparetti is a teacher at Montgomery Elementary School. All of the Veterans were invited to come to microphone and introduce themselves to the students and tell them which branch of the service they served. Afterwards the salute continued outside by the school flagpole. Village resident, Mark Devitt, donated small flags for each of the students to put around the flagpole for Veteran’s Day. As the students returned to class, the veterans and their families were invited to a reception that was donated by ShopRite.
Matt Canino, Principal of Montgomery Elementary School, commented, “I believe this was an effective lesson for the students and the entire community on the importance of recognizing our veterans and offering our gratitude for their service to our country. We can teach our children history from a book, but nothing is more effective than giving them the opportunity to learn about veterans from their relatives and neighbors. I would like to make this “Salute to Veterans” a Montgomery Elementary tradition.”