Roxbury Schools Honor Our Nation’s Veterans
ROXBURY, NJ (November 11, 2016) — Two of Roxbury Township Public Schools celebrated and honored our nation’s Veterans this week. Both Eisenhower Middle School and Lincoln/Roosevelt Elementary School held special presentations for Veterans and students on Wednesday.
EMS kicked off Wednesday’s festivities with a staff sponsored breakfast for more than a dozen veterans. The student council and board of education members were able to sit and chat with these individuals before the morning assembly.
EMS Student Council President, Samantha Wrobel, shared why she thought Veteran’s Day programs at the schools were necessary.
“It is so important to have programs like this because not all the kids have family members who have served and they don’t get to experience the veterans otherwise.”
This year’s EMS presentation was a collaborative effort with students, staff, and organizations. New this year was the 8th-grade concert band participation under the direction of Mr. Jeff Conrad from Roxbury High School as well as the presentation of the colors from Girl Scout Troop 94369.
Conrad wanted to participate in some way to honor the veterans not only in attendance but those from his family. He shared afterward that his grandfather, father, and brother have all served our country.
Veterans, including two from EMS, Principal Dominick Miller and Science Teacher John “Jack” Kummerer, were treated to a brief history of Veteran’s Day, patriotic music played and sung by the students, and brief readings.
An important point to note this year was the invitation to the veterans’ families to be present at this program. During the presentation, it was shared that having family in the military is not only difficult on the soldier but on the family members left behind and how “coming home” isn’t just coming home, it takes time for both the soldier and the family to readjust. It’s important just to be there for them.
EMS students and staff wrapped up their presentation with a video thanking all the veterans for their service and their freedom.
A few short hours later many of the same veterans headed over to Lincoln/Roosevelt School for lunch with some of the 6th-grade students. These students were lucky enough to be able to sit and briefly interview all the veterans so they could be personally introduced at the assembly.
Lincoln/Roosevelt put on quite a show with music, dancing, and a history lesson for close to thirty veterans and students thanks to interim principal Cecil “Bud” Beavers and the Lincoln/Roosevelt staff connections.
It seems Roxbury has a long history of supporting our military and the connections run deep. At least three students introduced either their father or grandfather who served in the military. Other notable veterans in attendance with ties to the Roxbury Schools were current Roxbury Board of Education Vice-President, Leo Coakley, former Roxbury Board of Education President, Robert “Bob” Badini, EMS Principal, Dominick Miller, Jennifer Smith’s (5th grade teacher) father, Mr. Jack Sassaman, district substitute, Alan Kaminetsky, and fifth grader Louis Schulz’s grandfather, Louis Bizzari.
Veterans and students were able to see military memorabilia thanks to Christine LaPosta, art teacher, Jason Tate, computer teacher, and Jackie Sheplak-Lewis, 5th-grade teacher.
A special connection and addition to the assembly was a Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter” poster whose original model was L/R Basic Skills Teacher, Erin Allen’s grandmother.
The entire two-hour presentation also included patriotic music throughout from Jack Amato (L/R Alum, Class of 1973), 6th graders Ava and Emma Milsom, Jazz great Rio Clemente, the 6th grade choir, Elaine Stevenson (RHS Grad), John Kurdillo who’s been nominated for a few Grammies, Mike Fasino who had Veteran Charlie Brown for a teacher, as well as a medley of L/R staff for a few musical numbers.
All came away from this assembly with a greater appreciation for our veterans, what they went through during times of war like having to have their own secret TAP Code language as POWs, and for the families missing them back home.
Assistant Principal Christopher Argenziano shared how his grandfathers all served in the military and had passed away. The best message he could share with the students was to “not take time for granted. Take the time to talk to veterans, your elders, and your family to learn about their history and stories and to know about the past.”
Both of the veteran’s presentation made all the students, staff, and guests thankful for the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women who sign up, ready to fight, defend, and sacrifice for this country.
On behalf of the Roxbury Township Public Schools, we’d like to take a moment on this Veteran’s Day to thank all of brave men and women who have served our country in the armed forces. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the opportunities and freedoms we all have as citizens of this great country. Thank you for your service!
Lincoln/Roosevelt School would also like to thank Home Depot for the donation of PVC pipes that were used to build the tent frame display for the WWII pup tent and to JC Penney for lending a mannequin to display a WWII uniform and trench coat. Both items belonged to Christine LaPosta’s husband’s great uncle Ralph DeFilippis who was a Doctor during the war and stationed in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge.
PHOTOS ATTACHED: (Photos courtesy of Roxbury Township Public Schools)
- EMS Vets Breakfast Pictures
- EMS Vets – 8th Grade Choir with Jeff Conrad
- EMS Vets – Flag Salute led by EMS veterans, Dominick Miller and Jack Kummerer
- EMS Vets – G.S. Troop 94369
- EMS Vets and their families
- EMS Vets Program – Flag
- EMS Veterans with Student Participants
- EMS Veterans Group Picture
- L/R 6th Grade Choir
- L/R Angelina Stigliano Introduces district substitute and veteran, Alan Kaminetsky
- L/R Ava Milsom Introduces Veterans
- L/R Bud Beavers Explains the Rosie the Riveter Poster and its connection to a L/R Teacher
- L/R Elaine Stevenson, RHS Grad shares war time music and history of her father from WWII
- L/R Elaine Stevenson, RHS Grad shares war time music with students
- L/R Emma and Ava Milsom sing the National Anthem
- L/R Isabella DiPasquale introduces her father Alfredo DiPasquale a Veteran from the Golf War
- L/R Jack Amato and John Kurdilla
- L/R Jack Amato (L/R Alumni Class of ’73)
- L/R Jackie Sheplak-Lewis shows war memorabilia
- L/R Military Memorabilia
- L/R Myles Brown Introduces Grandfather and former L/R Music Teacher Charles Brown
- L/R Pledge of Allegiance
- L/R Assembly - RHS Seniors and Honor Guard - Maggie Miller and Keysha Strong
- L/R Rosie the Riveter Poster
- L/R Table Set for Missing Vets
- L/R Tap Code
- L/R Thanks Our Vets
- L/R Veterans and 6th-grade student Andrew Darling
For more information, contact: Roxbury Community Relations coordinator Ann Rhodes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-584-7699.
ABOUT ROXBURY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Roxbury Public Schools is a K-12 school district preparing the children of today for tomorrow. As a dynamic and thriving district, in partnership with a supportive and collaborative community, Roxbury Public Schools inspires and empowers all learners to flourish as ethical and global citizens in the 21st century. The district serves students throughout Roxbury Township, New Jersey, including the areas of Landing, Kenvil, Succasunna, Ledgewood, Mount Arlington, Port Morris, Flanders, and Wharton. Connect with us online at www.roxbury.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RoxburyPublicSchools.