November 14, 2009 in Washington Voices

Adams students honor veterans, with flowers, music, pictures

By The Spokesman-Review
 
J. BART RAYNIAK photo

The Adams Elementary School kindergarten and first-grade chorus wave American flags while singing “I am Free” during the Veterans Day celebration Nov. 10.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

The gym at Adams Elementary School was packed with students and veterans Tuesday for the school’s Veterans Day assembly.

Members of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office honor guard and several Cub Scouts presented the flag to begin the ceremony. Each grade sang a few patriotic songs, and students presented a single flower to the veteran they had invited.

Dozens of pictures were shown in a slide show of military veterans who are friends and relatives of students and school staff. Fifth-grader Jenna Adams presented the school principal with a flag that was donated by her father, who is serving in Iraq.

Vietnam veteran John Leppelman appreciated the effort the students made. “I’m impressed,” he said. “They practiced hard for this.”

Leppelman, who lives in Worley, Idaho, served three tours of duty in Vietnam and wrote a book about his experience called “Blood in the Risers.” He was invited to the ceremony, his first Veterans Day event, by his granddaughter.

Spc. Rhett Brown was one of several veterans who attended the event in uniform. His son and daughter attend Adams, and he arrived home on a two-week leave on Saturday, just in time for the annual ceremony. “I came last year,” he said. “I’ve been here every year for Veterans Day.”

Brown is currently serving in Iraq with the Washington Army National Guard 1041st Transportation Company, though his home unit is the 1061st Transportation Company. He has been in the National Guard for two years and was previously on active duty for six years.

If his children gave him a few extra hugs during the assembly, it’s understandable. Brown had kept his homecoming a secret from his family and had a co-worker pick him up at the airport. His surprise nearly ended badly, however, when he arrived home unexpectedly. When his wife saw a man in uniform approaching her front door she panicked, assuming it was someone bringing bad news. “Once she saw who it was, she was very happy,” he said.

Board member retires

Longtime East Valley School District board member June Sine received gifts and some parting words at this week’s board meeting, her last before she retires. Sine has served on the board since 1991.

Central Valley School Board member Debbie Long spoke during the meeting and presented Sine with a bouquet of flowers. “June, you have enriched my life as well as the children of your district,” she said. “I can’t thank you enough. You touched my life and made a difference.”

Superintendent John Glenewinkel presented Sine with a golden apple as a “small token for your service.”

On Nov. 24 Heidi Gillingham will be sworn in as Sine’s replacement.

Leadership summit

Nineteen students from Central Valley High School attended the recent Youth Leadership Summit in Spokane. The students attended workshops on ethics, peer pressure, corporate responsibility and responsible social networking. All the students were part of the Future Business Leaders of America Club. They are: Cody Bafus, Kaitlyn Bowers, Taylor Demars, Edward Eitzman, Shenice Gillespie, Jack Harrison, Jordan Jalbert, Megan Kaiser, Abby Mansoor, Elizabeth Mansoor, Katie May, Tate Murphey, Rahmi Nemri, Matthew Seiber, Ivvie Shellhorn, Casandra Skinfill, Justine Smith, Gretchen Tempel and Penny Zhang.

Turkey Trot

The annual East Valley Turkey Trot and pancake breakfast will be next Saturday at Mountain View Middle School, 6011 N. Chase Road.

Runners and walkers can choose between a 3-mile route and a 1-mile route. The winner of the 3-mile race will get a frozen turkey, and there will also be prize drawings.

Check-in and late registration begin at 8 a.m., and the race begins at 9. The entry fee for the run is $5 per individual or $25 per family. T-shirts will be available to those who registered early. The breakfast, which will begin at 9:30 a.m., costs $5 per person or $25 per family.

Proceeds from the run will benefit the Panther Tracks Running Club and the East Farms Elementary PTSA. Money from the breakfast will benefit the Mountain View parent group.

Spaghetti feed

The Evergreen Middle School PTO will host its annual spaghetti feed and auction Tuesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the school, 14221 E. 16th Ave. The cost is $4 per person or $15 for a family of four or more.


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