November 14, 2022

LISD TECH Center Students Honor Local Veterans

Local veteran speaks with students
Welded flag art
Gifts for veterans

LISD TECH Center students celebrated Veterans Day earlier this month through a project designed to honor veterans in Lenawee County. Led by the Nursing Preparation program, students and staff from across LISD TECH Center programs and other LISD classrooms created cards, notes, and various gifts to 84 veterans to recognize their service.

Lisa Dunlap, Nursing Preparation instructor, has led her program in this project for several years. This year, additional classrooms got involved to make a larger impact. “My time working in nursing homes spending time with veterans really developed my appreciation for their service,” said Dunlap. I really wanted to help this generation of students understand how worthy it is to show their appreciation.”

Dunlap reached out to Lenawee Medical Care Facility, Springcreek Rehab and Nursing Center, Lynwood Manor, and the Lenawee Department on Aging to solicit names of veterans. Students then added additional names through personal connections. Each veteran received handwritten notes and cards from numerous LISD TECH Center and LISD preschool classrooms, potted flowers from the Horticulture program, veteran buttons produced by the Graphic Design and the Marketing and Entrepreneurship programs, and metal flags created by the Welding Technology program and finished by the Automotive Collision Repair and Refinish program. In all, 18 classrooms and some additional staff participated in some manner.

The Lenawee Department on Aging arranged for four local veterans to meet with some of the students and receive their recognition in-person. Larry Hardy (Navy), Florence Carter (Marines), John Saxton (Army), and Russ Amo (Air Force) spent time with students and discussed their military service and the students’ career goals. “The support veterans receive from this community is wonderful,” said Hardy. “It is really top-notch, and much appreciated.”

“This project gave us a chance to give back to some of the people we will be caring for in our careers,” said Danielle Vallejo, Nursing Preparation student from Madison High School. “We want them to know we appreciate their service and their sacrifices.”

Madison Westgate, Nursing Preparation student from Blissfield High School, felt a personal connection to the project. “My family has a long line of veterans, and I really enjoyed coming together to say thank you,” said Westgate. “Sometimes it is hard to find that level of respect today, and it was amazing to see.”

Hailey Darr, Horticulture student from Adrian High School, also was grateful to participate. “This was a really important project,” said Darr. “My grandfather was a veteran, and it means a lot to see my classmates supporting veterans in our community.”

Cari Rebottaro Lenawee Department on Aging Department Head, noted the importance of collaboration in making this project possible. “It was nice to see partnerships across classrooms within the LISD, in addition to the community partnerships that helped connect the students to the veterans,” said Rebottaro.