We held a special assembly today: the local VFW post came to present a few awards to our students.

Every year my colleague in the English department and I help our junior high students participate in the Patriot’s Pen essay contest; this year the theme was “The America I Believe In.” We also guide our high school students in developing a submission for the Voice of Democracy audio essay contest; this year the theme was “My Responsibility to America.”

Though all of our students complete a submission, we can only send three or four submissions to the district competition.

What a surprise to learn that we swept our district (region) in both contests! That’s right – we had a six winners from our school! Unfortunately we did not place at the state level this year, but I suppose one can’t have it all.

Then the post commander said

We have one more award to give out, for the students’ success is a reflection of their teachers. We are pleased to announce this year’s North Carolina VFW Post Teacher of the Year. Mr. Eldred, would you please come forward?

Wait. What just happened? I found myself pushed forward by my excited students and found a wonderful plague and certificate pressed into my hands, along with a small check.

me-the-vfw

I was shocked, astounded, humbled, and honored. My English colleague nominated me, and one of the VFW said there were over 150 recommendations this year, and that they fought for me based on my work over the years. How did they know about my work? The same colleague informed them (plus their experience with me in the contests).

I still can’t believe it, and this definitely couldn’t wait ’till Saturday.

Monday wasn’t so bad. How was yours?

 

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