Veterans from throughout the Valley were honored last week in the Snoqualmie Valley School District as part of several Veteran’s Day assemblies.
Opstad Elementary School in North Bend had a very musical assembly which featured fifth grade students singing and playing instruments on Thursday, Nov. 9. Music Director Carol Heitt helped coordinate many of her students to sing classic American tunes in a choir. Student Noah Gallardo was also featured playing a solo cello piece during the assembly.
Heitt said she began teaching the songs a month in advance so that the students would be able to memorize the lyrics. She also got groups of her students to give short speeches about each branch of the armed forces. The students brought out each flag for the Marine Corps, Navy, Army, Air Force, and National Guard and spoke on stage about each branch’s duties and responsibilities.
Heitt also invited veterans who were parents of Opstad students to speak. Chief Petty Officer April Tarpley from the Coast Guard Reserves spoke to the children about her role in the organization and what it means to serve. Capt. Lena Baunsgard from the U.S. Air Force also explained how the Air Force operates and the role it serves.
At Snoqualmie Elementary School, Desiree Cuddihy’s fifth graders took the lead in planning the assembly, including inviting veterans, setting up VIP parking, decorating the gym for the occasion, escorting their honored guest into the reception, building a slide show to be displayed during the assembly, and writing their own speeches.
“The students were very proud of their accomplishment and truly realized the importance of honoring those who served,” Cuddihy said. “They also have a much better understanding of how much planning, teamwork and leadership it takes to pull of such event.”