DID YOU KNOW…
…about H-L’s dedication to Veterans?
Hopewell-Loudon has a long-standing admiration of those that have served our country in order to protect the freedoms that we enjoy every day. While most schools recognize veterans in a ceremony, H-L goes above and beyond traditional expectations.
Over the years, H-L staff and students have welcomed and honored nearly 1000 guests to take part in our annual veteran celebration. Plans for the “Veterans Day Assembly” begin long before the big day arrives each year. A team of dedicated staff members meet to plan, organize, and reach out to three local nursing homes to make a coordinated effort to honor veterans from our community.
What started out as a way to support Mr. Acton’s daughter while she was serving overseas has transformed and adapted as needs have changed. For several years, students and staff members donated lots and lots of items that were packaged and mailed to Afghanistan. The pictures of service men and women opening the boxes were priceless! A couple of years into developing ways to serve veterans, we were able to coincide the book fair with donating to those serving. We mailed Christmas books to overseas servicemen/women, enabling them to write a note inside the book and mail it back to their children at home. We were even able to Skype with Lisa Acton at our assembly while she was in Afghanistan!
Once we transitioned to our new building, Mrs. Arnold began researching ways to improve the lives of local veterans in our community. After speaking with leaders of local veteran groups, a new and desperate need was discovered. Many, many elderly men and women that served our country felt forgotten and insignificant. This is how donating to local veterans came to life. For the past few years, area nursing homes have worked individually with their veteran residents to create a wish list of items that they want or need. Some have wished for a new pair of shoes, some new clothes, some a radio, some baseball hats with their branch of service on it, and many just request simple items like shoehorns, hankies, winter hats and gloves.
At the annual “Veterans Assembly,” many things will take place. Main Street will be decorated with posters of gratitude which are made by each elementary classroom. These posters will then be taken to the nursing homes that the wish list items get delivered to by the elementary student council. There is a “Veteran Breakfast” in the auditeria prior to the assembly, hosted by H-L’s NHS students. Veterans will be welcomed by high school student council members and escorted to the Scarlet Gym. Ribbons will be distributed to veterans as they enter the gym by sixth grade students. Elementary staff and students, and veteran guests along with their family members, will be entertained by specially selected choir songs performed by our high school choir. Bags that have been decorated by third grade students will line the gymnasium floor, filled to the brim with items for each nursing home guest. A slide show will be presented as the highlight of our day, displaying names and pictures of relatives of elementary students and H-L staff members that are either currently serving our nation or have served in the past. This moving tribute often leaves the adults in the gym more than a little choked up. Another somber portion of the ceremony involves sixth grade students reciting and acting out the poem of “The White Table” and reminds us all of those that did not return home to join their family at the dinner table. Once the assembly portion has been completed, each student and adult in our beautiful building will gather at the flagpole in order to witness a local Flag Guard conduct the “Raising of the Flag”, and the high school band will play “Star Spangled Banner” as Veteran’s stand at attention and salute. Mrs. Nelson will lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance and Veteran’s will “Order Arms” (3 volleys by 7 rifles). The outside portion of this day will conclude with the high school band members playing “Taps.” At that point, many veterans will join their relatives in elementary classrooms for a Q & A session and to participate in classroom activities.
This Chieftain community has never failed to rise up and meet the needs of those in need. It doesn’t matter if a family has had a relative serve overseas, if they know the person that they are donating to or not. Chieftains are known for their generous spirit. This is one reason why so many people respect this school district and one reason why Chieftain pride flows strongly through each one of us.
DID YOU KNOW…
…that in late 2016, the District refunded a portion of its bonds pertaining to the construction of the new school building? While the anticipated savings was approximately $600,000, the final actual savings was $1,077,000. This means that the savings to district residents was over $1 million! This was achieved through countless hours of work by Treasurer Jennifer Hedrick and then Superintendent David Alvarado, with direction from legal counsel. These individuals made an official presentation to Moody’s Investors Service to discuss the amazing qualities of the district, including its fiscal stability, student achievements and organizations, quality administration and staff, as well as strong community support. As a result of this presentation and the many amazing qualities of the district, a higher bond rating was achieved, which was a factor in the increased savings.
The District is very proud of this accomplishment!