South Orangetown Central School District

William O. Schaefer Elementary School students extended a warm welcome to local veterans, including Superintendent Dr. Robert Pritchard (U.S. Army) and Grade 2 Teacher Christopher Speno (U.S. Marine Corps), as part of New York State Senator David Carlucci’s annual Valentines for Vets celebration this morning.

“We are very fortunate to be chosen for a second year by Senator Carlucci’s office to host this special event,” said Principal Sheila Beglin. “It links perfectly with “compassion,” our Word of the Month. Students have been working hard to make valentines and practice songs for this beautiful celebration of our veterans.”

The event kicked off with a breakfast for the veterans sponsored by SOCES PTA, followed by an assembly featuring the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by student musical performances and a video of students making valentines, created by WOS Technology Teacher Randi Nerkizian. Students presented each veteran with valentines.

The annual Valentines for Vets event is sponsored by Senator Carlucci’s office, which coordinates the collection and distribution of thousands of student-made valentines from 27 local elementary schools to veterans in our community and to troops overseas. “We’ve got the best teachers right here,” said Senator Carlucci. “Thank you so much for all you do to educate our children and for all you’ve done to bring some love to our veterans’ lives.”

Special thanks to teachers Paula Ferzola, Beth Fox, Suzanne Luke, Joann Neugebauer, Rossana Rega, Christinamae Rispoli, Andrea Schaefer, Christopher Speno and their students for planning the Valentines for Veterans assembly!

Large group photo of students with veterans