“They went above and beyond,” trip coordinator Tom Price said. “It was a fantastic experience for the veterans and, I believe, for the students.”
Four students shared a presentation during Tuesday’s Norwalk school board meeting. The following students went on the mid-October trip to Washington, where they toured various monuments and memorials: Ethan Byrd, Darren Raymond, Amber Montana, Alec Osborn, Paiten Ott, Alyshia Leimeister, Christian Mummert and Anna Little.
Price told the board he believes that allowing the vets to share their stories helped some of them “put away some of their demons.” He noted one man’s wife said he wasn’t the same person he was before the trip.
Montana said she always has had “a deep appreciation” for vets, but hearing what they experienced made the trip even more memorable and cemented what sacrifices soldiers make.
“To say this trip meant a lot to us is an understatement,” Osborn added.
Before the trip, Byrd said he was excited and eager, but was slightly apprehensive since it included vets he didn’t know beforehand.
“To say there is a generation gap is completely wrong,” he added. “Everyone is all the same.”
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, NHS industrial arts teacher Chris Jackson shared how proud he was of his students who went on a volunteer mission trip to Clendenin, W.Va. Homes there were damaged and many residents were displaced due to a flood. Jackson removed old flooring and fixed unsupported walls while the students ran wiring and installed drywall.
Jackson said his students didn’t wait around for things to do and “were not afraid to get dirty.”
“This just meant the world,” sophomore Noah Frantz said during Tuesday’s presentation.
“You didn’t need experience; you just needed your hands,” he added. “I was grateful to do what I could to help.”
Volunteers with the local group Answering the Call Together were also on the mission trip. Jackson said another ACT crew plans to return to West Virginia at the end of February.
Also Tuesday, the district accepted the following donations:
• $1,000 grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation to purchase a Clevertouch device for League Elementary. Clevertouch is an interactive LED monitor that runs Android apps and is wi-fi compatible.
• $5,000 grant from Project Lead The Way for the NMS Creation Station.
• Five deaf-friendly fire alarms from the Community Center for the Deaf and Hard-of Hearing. The Norwalk Fire Department will install the devices.
In other action Tuesday, the board:
• Reappointed Mason P. Oglesby to a new term as a Norwalk Public Library trustee, ending Dec. 31, 2023.
• Approved two sports trips.
The Norwalk varsity baseball team will travel to the Cincinnati area March 25 through 27 to scrimmage teams that Saturday and Sunday in the region. About 15 varsity players and six to eight coaches and parents will travel and chaperone the team. A NHS alumnus donated $1,000 to help fund the trip.
The varsity wrestling team will travel to and stay overnight in Chagrin Falls on Dec. 29 for the two-day Kenston Invitational wrestling tournament at Kenston High School. Coaches and parents will drive and the athletic booster wrestling account will pay for lodging for the athletes.