South Orangetown Central School District

Veterans Day was a highlight of this month’s grade-wide, character education assemblies organized by Jaime Sainz and Colleen Dowling-Moran’s class at Cottage Lane Elementary School with support from School Counselor Stephanie Chahales. The student presenters explained that the federal holiday is celebrated on the anniversary of the end of World War I, honors those who are serving and have served in the U.S. armed forces.

“It is important to show our gratitude to veterans by thanking them for their service or doing a kind act for them, such as cooking a meal or making a card,” they noted.

Over the past week, CLE students have created magnets and thank you cards as part of an annual Veterans Day collaboration with Vetiquette, a local organization founded by South Orangetown parent Maureen Kelly. Inside Phil Krump’s fifth grade classroom, a list of admirable character traits associated with veterans served as inspiration for cards and magnets to be distributed to veterans through Vetiquette.

“I joined the U.S. Navy right out of high school because I wasn’t ready for college. I wanted to go places and get job experience,” noted Krump (pictured with fellow CLE teacher and veteran Jim Sharkey), who traveled to 24 countries over the course of his nine years of active duty and 11 years in the reserves.

The experience helped pave the way to his career in education. “You have to lock into what you’re skilled at,” he reflected. “I was always tasked to be the training officer–and I like kids. So, training and kids leads to teaching…and I’ve been here at Cottage Lane for 30 years!”

Thank you to Phil Krump, Jim Sharkey and all our South Orangetown staff and community members who have served our country!

Student holding handmade Veterans Day thank you card