Fort Polk Guardian 05-05-2017

Vol. 44, No. 18 Published for the community of Fort Polk, La. May 5, 2017 Guardian Fort Polk Inside the Guardian AER campaign ........... 3 SAMC inductees ......... 6 Remember police ....... 7 Cor vias improvements 8 Chaplain speaks ....... 12 Fashion show ........... 14 Weekend weather Today Saturday Sunday 76 80 83 52 0% 10 0% 55 57 Rain chance Rain chance Rain chance Top students, teachers, principals recognized during ceremony FORT POLK, La. — A ceremony honoring Ver- non Parish School District’s principals, teachers and students of the year was held at Fort Polk’s Warrior Community Center on May 2 at 4:30 p.m. Fort Polk Garrison Commander Col. David “Gregg” Athey welcomed those in attendance and said the nine principals, teachers and stu- dents recognized made a difference in their schools and communities. He referred to them as heroes. “The success our parish has realized in educa- tion stems from the quality of education occur- ring in the classroom and the leadership provid- ed from administrators,” Athey said. “Today, we want to recognize our partnership in education and spotlight three teachers, three principals and three students.” Mike Reese, chairman, Fort Polk Progress, fol- lowed Athey and told how one of his organiza- tion’s goals was to make Fort Polk a station of choice by improving education for Soldiers’ fami- lies. “There’s nothing more important we can do as a community and a region than to make sure we are providing a high quality education oppor- tunities for military members and their families,” Reese said. “One of the most important things Soldiers and their families told us over and over was to make our primary focus quality educa- tion. The Vernon Parish School District does that.” James Williams, Vernon Parish School District superintendent, thanked the Fort Polk leadership for help in improving education in the parish. “In 36 years in this business, I’ve never seen the support like we have received from Fort Polk, and especially Colonel Athey,” Williams said. “General Brito (Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk Commander Brig. Gen. Gary Brito), when we’ve needed something, you’re there to support us.” When it was his turn to speak, Brito said he was “the luckiest commander in the world” be- cause of the excellence that surrounds him. “Our Soldiers, leaders, parents, family mem- bers and the administrators and teachers make great things happen for us,” he said. Brito highlighted recent achievements by Ver- non Parish Schools — both statewide and nation- ally. “Again, I’m lucky,” he said. “I’m going to keep riding this wave of success, and I know it will continue as long as you guys are here. Thank you.” Following his remarks, Brito presented a Commanding General Certificate of Achieve- ment to each of the honorees. Vernon Parish 2017 principals of the year are: • Ramona Bennett, East Leesville Elementary School. Bennett is from Simpson, Louisiana and married to Roger Bennett. After teaching third grade for seven years at Simpson High School, in 1999 she went into administration as assistant principal at East Leesville Elementary School, and became principal in 2009. She is an active member of Simpson Baptist Church, serving on several committees. • Rhonda Roberts, Hicks High School (mid- dle/junior high), also a state semi-finalist. Roberts is married to Joseph Roberts and has 30 years of experience in education which includes 14 years as an elementary and junior high teacher; 10 years as a librarian; and six years as an administrator. In her spare time, she enjoys family gatherings, reading, shopping, and craft- ing; family is her greatest treasure. • Lee Coriell, Simpson High School. Coriell is a 1987 graduate of Leesville High School. He re- turned to Leesville High School as a teacher in 1995, where he taught mathematics and comput- er science for 14 years. In 2009, he accepted the By CHUCK CANNON Guardian editor Please see Awardees , page 5 A ceremony honoring the top principals, teachers and students in the Vernon Parish School District was held May 2 at theWarrior Community Center on Fort Polk. CHUCK CANNON / GUARDIAN