The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1002 in Fallon presented awards to three recipients recently honoring them for their act to bring awareness to veterans; Kelly Frost, Kieran Kalt and Kaiya Scott.
According to the VFW, it annually recognizes the nation’s top classroom elementary, junior high and high school teachers who teach citizenship education topics regularly teaching and promote America’s history, traditions and institutions effectively. A Churchill County Middle School student received an award from the Patriot’s Pen Essay. All recipients received a monetary prize.
Mike Terry, chairperson for the National Citizenship Education Teacher Post Recognition Award, said the contest is based on the number of nominees submitted. Local chapters then recognize one outstanding teacher from each of the grades: K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. The VFW then submits the winners’ names to district-level judging, which will forward their winners to the department (state) level. After judging, each department then forwards the names of its winners to VFW National Headquarters for consideration in the national award contest. Winners are announced in January.
Fellow teachers, supervisors or other interested individuals can submit nominations for teachers. The nominator will describe the teacher’s innovative teaching and resource development methods, as well as his or her dedication to education.
Terry said the VFW, founded in 1899, is concerned with the education of America’s youth. The VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary have developed a slate of programs dedicated to this endeavor. He said the VFW Citizenship Education program stimulates interest in America’s history, traditions, institutions, civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism.
Both teachers nominated for the award truly deserve it, Terry said. He added the women promote citizenship education that includes civic responsibility, flag etiquette, plans field trips to city hall and Naval Air Station Fallon. He said Kalt has her students send care packages to troops overseas and fosters the development of democratic values to her students.
“Kelly had steep competition at the high school,” Terry said. “She ended up beating out Don Sheldon, who is the JROTC instructor; he took it well and was very proud of Kelly just like we all are.”
Kalt, a third-grade teacher at Numa Elementary School, said she has had a passion for veterans for a long time.
“The veterans deserve our respect and support,” Kalt said. “They fight for our freedom and sacrifice a lot and sometimes their lives. I try to make sure that my students understand what a veteran is and how they should be treated and a lot of the students rise to the occasion. The students are very respectful to the veterans and when they see them in uniform, they will go up to them and thank them for their service. It’s a great sight seeing that and knowing they understand.”
Dick Hurstak, commander of the Fallon VFW post, said Scott was the only student in Churchill County to win the essay contest. There are three different levels, Hurstak said, for elementary, middle and high school students. Hurstak said the theme of the essay was given to the students who entered and the students had to write the essay according to the outline.
Scott read her essay entitled “Veterans are my Superheroes” to the audience. She said she was thrilled to have won the essay contest.
“It means a lot to me that I was recognized for the essay that I wrote,” Scott said. “Veterans are important to our nation and community and more kids should know that. They have done a lot for our country and should be recognized for it more.”
Frost, a history teacher at the high school, said she was shocked and honored when she found out she was selected for the award.
“I am thankful for veterans and all that they have done for our country,” Frost said. “It’s very important for students to understand the important role that veterans have played in our country and how it’s important to always show our respect for them. Veterans are a big part of our history and their stories need to be told to our students.”