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Clarkston Community School District

From Superintendent Ryan: A Salute to Veterans

From Superintendent Ryan: A Salute to Veterans

Dear Friends of Clarkston Community Schools,

This week, students, staff, and family members honored our nation's veterans with a "Salute to the Armed Forces." Veteran family members and friends were invited to special ceremonies at Andersonville Elementary, Clarkston Elementary School, North Sashabaw Elementary School, and Clarkston Junior High School.

It truly was a sight to see the many ways our school communities celebrated military service with patriotic poems, musical performances, special introductions of our veterans, and hallway "clap outs." We humbly offered these small gestures of gratitude offered in return for the peace, protection, and freedom that military service provides us as citizens, but these gestures were moving and memorable, nonetheless.

At Clarkston Junior High School's annual Veterans Day ceremony, students welcomed and honored Jason Keiser, a 1997 CHS graduate who served in Iraq and Afghanistan for seven years as an Army Ranger. At the conclusion of the event, students placed a special mosaic stone in the Jenna Beno Memorial Garden Courtyard in honor of Mr. Keiser's service. (Jenna Beno was a 2003 CHS graduate and U.S. Army veteran who died in 2012 following injuries she sustained while serving overseas.)

Also at the junior high, students in Laura Murray's ninth grade history class hosted a pancake breakfast for veterans, and joined their guests for breakfast. One guest, Don Steiner, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was just barely 17 years old when he left Clarkston High School, foregoing his high school diploma to defend our country. The students enjoyed hearing about Mr. Steiner's travels to the Caribbean, North Africa, Italy, and Pacific islands, where faced dive bombers, snipers, and life as a sailor during war time. He told the students that even though he went on to have a successful career, he did not earn his Clarkston High School diploma until 2002, when he crossed the stage at DTE to a standing ovation at age 77.

Incredible stories of heroism and valor were shared this week, and I know I speak for all of our students and staff when I say we are unendingly grateful for the veterans we know, and those we will never know. We will not forget their service and sacrifice.

Take a look at the photos!


Shawn Ryan
Superintendent of Schools

About Clarkston Community Schools: Clarkston is a highly regarded school district with an enrollment of more than 7,500 students. We have seven elementary schools (K-5), one middle school serving grades 6-7, one junior high for grades 8-9, and Clarkston High School, which serves students in grades 10-12. We also have an Early Childhood Center serving children ages 3-5, and an alternative high school/community education facility. Each Clarkston Community Schools' student is fully engaged in a globally focused education, from preschool through graduation, that fosters in students a sense of self, perspective, responsibility/ownership, and contribution. The mission of Clarkston Community Schools is to cultivate thinkers, learners and positive contributors to a global society.

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Media Contact: Mary Ellen Rowe, Marketing Director (248) 623-5460.