Junior high students and their families honor related veterans

Post date: Nov 20, 2019 6:4:53 PM

For Veterans Day 2019, Wells Junior High School students created a unique display of photos with brief descriptions of veterans related to them and school staff. According to WJHS Assistant Principal Doug Perley, this effort began modestly with a few exhibits but soon spread quickly filling a major section of a hallway wall and then some.

What came to be referred to as “the Wall” is located close to the school’s main office. The display was planned and assembled as a classroom community initiative and consists of over 200 individual exhibits highlighting veterans primarily from the World II era up to the present time including some former students of WJHS. The display consists of engaging photos, both black and white and color, of fathers, sisters, grandfathers, and other relationships.

“Every photo is of a person who has some direct connection to a student or a staff member in this building,” said Perley who pointed out that the display “has led to so many great conversations” among students and others.

The community groups at WJHS meet once a week and are composed of students grouped primarily by classroom. Topics discussed and activities planned generally center around the school’s core values of Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Compassion, and Trustworthiness.

Among the wall postings is a section devoted to residents of “Avita of Wells” who served in the military. A few days after the wall went up, some of these veterans along with hundreds of other community members were able to view the display during WJHS’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner on November 17th. In recent years, WJHS has developed a strong relationship with Avita as numerous student volunteers have visited this facility routinely in the past three years to help serve lunch and visit with residents.

Perley pointed out that many students who didn’t have relatives who are veterans still contributed to the wall with their own imaginative writings and drawings.

“It was such a collaborative building-wide effort,” said Perley who stressed that it was “truly” a combined 5th through the 8th-grade endeavor. Perley and Principal AJ Dufort are part of the

WJHS’s Leadership team that approved and encouraged this school-wide project.

A display to honor veterans related to students and staff at Wells Junior High School.

WJHS staff member Deb Sheppard displayed a photo and brief description of her father-in-law, Master Sargent James A. Sheppard who was part of the famed Tuskegee Airmen serving in the US Army Air Corps (now the Air Force) during World War II.