With the goal to honor the service and sacrifice of Germantown Academy veterans and join the world community in commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I, members of the One School Community Service Organization Minimester, including Director of Community Service Anthony Commale and students Mihir Savani '19, Elizabeth Reaume '20, Olivia Negro '20, commemorated the 342 GA alumni who served in World War I by placing 342 American Flags in Connor Quad.
As part of its salute to veterans, CSO invited all GA faculty, staff, and students to honor those who have served in the U.S. military on Friday by wearing patriotic stickers.
Community Service Organization also invited Upper School Physical Education & Wellness Teacher Jeff Preston, who served with the U.S. Marines from 1990-1996, to speak to both Middle School and Upper School students. During the Upper School assembly, Mr. Preston was presented with a picture of a train with the words "Honoring Our Veterans" painted on the side. Needless to say, Mr. Preston, who served abroad in Iraq as part of Operation Desert Storm, was moved by the gesture.
"I've always been so grateful to be part of such an awesome community like Germantown Academy, but today just made me feel so proud, especially as a veteran," said Mr. Preston. "The other day I was asked to speak to the Middle School about Veterans Day and this morning I spoke to the Upper School. I was so honored to speak to both divisions about the history and experiences of our nation's finest and the feedback I received from students and faculty alike was heartwarming and genuinely amazing. I was truly touched. Then during the Upper School morning meeting before I spoke, I was overcome with sincere emotion when Mr. Matthew Kraynyak surprised me with a framed photo of a locomotive that had been beautifully painted in red, white and blue and dedicated to America's veterans. On the bottom of the frame, it was inscribed 'Honoring Our Veteran.' As every school year has come and gone in my 18 years at this school, I find myself becoming more and more closer to this institution. But on this day, I've never felt more tighter and a more a part of what kind of place Germantown Academy really is. It's a community of diverse people from all walks of life who love this country and its history. You can see it in the school's history, in the American flags that currently adorn Connor Quad honoring our World War I Veterans that attended GA, in the leadership of Mr. Rich Schellhas, on The Thought Wall currently occupied by a giant American flag and on the chest of every student and faculty member of GA who will all be wearing American flag stickers on Friday remembering our veterans on Veterans Day. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person in this community that is Germantown Academy. You all symbolize the greatness that is the United States of America and I am so lucky to know all you and the great Americans that you are. Thank you for such an awesome and humbling day! .....And GO GA... BEAT PC!"