By Jackie Nelson
On Monday, Nov. 18, Hesston Schools will come together to celebrate a belated Veterans’ Day. Hesston Elementary School Counselor Stephanie Litton has worked in tandem with Hesston High Counselor Donna Schadler and Middle School Counselor Jill Toews to coordinate a district-wide event for students and veterans.
Together, the three counselors have traditionally coordinated a district-wide effort to engage students and veterans. Thus far, the three said the event has been very well-received.
“As of now we’ve had lots of interest and close to 40 veterans who plan to attend,” they reported.
The event is not restricted to students and veterans.
“The morning begins roughly before 9:00 a.m. and will conclude shortly after 10:00 a.m. The event is open to any military person and/or Hesston community members who want to honor the people who serve our country.
The event is centered around encouraging students to respect fellow community members.
“Initially the idea began by counselors working toward teaching our students the meaning of respecting one another and developing habits of respect through gratitude. As a district and a community, service to others has always been important; this is just an addendum to fostering that conviction and intentionally modeling it to our kids,” they said.
This year’s Veterans’ Day celebration is a continuation of the district’s efforts to focus a week of learning on a particular topic.
“Each year the counseling team develops a district-wide assembly in an effort to promote a family-like or community atmosphere for our students. In the past those assemblies have been focused on Red Ribbon Week, Cyber-Safety and netiquette, Healthy Choices, and Service. This year the counseling team decided on honoring the people who serve our country and make sacrifices so that we may live and learn in the comforts that we do,” the ladies said.
While planning the event, establishing a timeline for the event has been difficult.
“The biggest challenge has been location. The Hesston High School gym floor was complete for a large assembly by Veteran’s Day. It was imperative for us to be flexible with our date, as that was the only area that would hold the number who plan to attend. In addition reaching, informing, and inviting veterans to attend has been a challenge because this is a first-time event for the district,” they said.
The counselors said the event is a way to promote civic engagement and pride in the community.
“We hope students and community members take away A sense of pride and respect for the history of our country and the people who contributed to making America – and Hesston, Kansas - what it is,” they said.