Careers in STEM #Military

Veterans Day is a federal and state holiday in the United States that honors all those who have served in the United States military. Yesterday we had the privilege to host Brigadier General Janeen L. Birckhead, Adjutant General of the Maryland Army National Guard as well as many guardsmen and women who spent the day with our lucky students to give them some insight into life served in the military.

Students in Grades 3 - 8 were treated to presentations by Brigadier General Birckhead, CSM James Nugent, Command Sergeant Major of the Maryland Army National Guard, CW5 Daniel Chapman, Command Chief Warrant Officer of the Maryland Army National Guard and SSG Cassandra Black, Maryland Army National Guard NCO of the Year. General Birckhead shared her philosophy of “D to the power of 3” where she emphasized the importance of discipline, dedication and diversity.

Students were given the opportunity to climb aboard a Maryland Army National Guard UH - 72 Lakota helicopter which visited the school grounds in the morning. The friendly and helpful aircraft crew were able to get all 520+ students through the helicopter and answer numerous questions about the helicopter works, the science behind flight and what it was used for.

The day concluded with a powerful prayer service honoring all veterans organized and led by Mrs. Nugent and her Seventh Grade Religion class. We were thrilled to honor our special guest, 99-year old Retired Colonel Louis J. Schott, father of our very own Mrs. Tyler, one of our beloved pre-kindergarten teachers, and grandfather to her daughter, Ms. Tyler, our receptionist.

Colonel Schott was ordered to active duty in December, 1942 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1943. He was then ordered to the Pacific where he served with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines as a platoon leader and Company Commander. He participated in the New Britain, Pelilieu and Okinawa campaigns and the occupation of North China. In 1946, he joined the Active Reserve, and in 1966 he transferred to the Retired Reserve.

His awards include the Bronze Star with Combat V, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Two Presidential Unit Citations, Navy Unit Citation, Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon with four Battle Stars, China Service Medal, Navy Occupation Ribbon, Organized Marine Corps Reserve Medal, American Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, and the Armed Forces Medal.

In addition to his military career, Colonel Schott is an active volunteer with the Toys for Tots Campaign and also volunteers in multiple capacities in Howard County to serve needy families. As a token of our gratitude for his service to our country, the students chose to donate money collected on one of our Out of Uniform days to Toys for Tots, and presented him with the check to the organization and so that they many continue doing good work for children in need.

We are grateful to Mrs. Nugent for her leadership and service and to her husband Command Sergeant Major James Nugent for coordinating the events of the day. We are grateful to all of our guests for spending such valuable time with our students to help enlighten us all on what it means to truly serve. We pray, as the students did:

“Bless these men and women of courage and valor, heal their wounds, comfort their hearts, and grant them lives of joy. May their dedication and honor be remembered as a blessing for generations to come.”