U. City Staff Members in the Military
Alexander Phillips, Staff Writer
April 11, 2012
Filed under Features
The U. City staff is bountiful in culture, ethnic and social background. Some of these backgrounds include the United States military, in which the Air Force Blues and camouflage are traded for slacks, ties and dress shirts.
Ms. Halter, English teacher, has been teaching for 13 years and has worked in the U. City school district for nine. Before she became a teacher, she spent six years from 1982-88 in the United States Army. She feels that the army and her father, who was drafted into WWII, really instilled many core values, the most important of which is her discipline.
“The army allowed me to better myself and learn plenty of discipline, which is what shows the most in my style of teaching,” said Halter. “Some students come into high school with a depth of knowledge relating to discipline, while others seem to adapt over the years for a mindset key to success.”
Halter has plenty of “fellow troops” in the building, such as Mr. Carter, interim assistant principal, who was an Army Specialist who served five and a half years in the service. “Discipline is very important, as well as respect for chain of command, teamwork structure, and organization,” said Carter.
Carter runs his personal life, as well as his scholastic career, in a military fashion so he can “get everybody on the same sheet of music and be mission oriented.”
In many situations, Carter believes “missions must be accomplished in spite of personal feelings.”
According to Carter, this “very structured” career has “better prepared” him for a position of leadership.
“The military is a very structured team-oriented career that teaches multi-cultural values to help this world interact on a global scale,” said Carter.
In addition to Carter, science teacher Tom Croce has three years of active duty experience and enough life lessons for 10 people.
“In my time in the service I got to make a lot of friends. I have lived through more experiences then I ever cared for, but I learned a lot,” he said.
The United States Air Force also has an influence in the U. City community with the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Core (AFJROTC) and teachers Col. Henson and MSgt. Don Honeycutt. These military veterans have combined careers and experience of more than 40 years.
“I have 25 years of service time, but I have lived by the core value for 30,” said Henson. “I try to instill these values into my children, and I see a positive change in the students we influence.”
Henson believes in a sense of patriotism and appreciation of the sacrifices of those who have served.
“Having lived in 11 different states and serving overseas I draw on knowledge from all of my past environments and I try to help students mature with my knowledge, I also try to instill an appreciation for the country we live in into the hearts and minds of civilian,” said Henson. “Although we, as AFJROTC instructors, try to guide students in a positive manner, it is combination of other teachers with their knowledge of building character that helps the students succeed in life.”
Likewise, Honeycutt also believes in the core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all I do.
“These values are near and dear to me and that is why the AFJROTC program is always there for community and charity event,” said Honeycutt. “The military is there for the benefit of the people and in the case of natural disasters like tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. We as instructors are only trying to educate and let the youth know the importance of helping a fellow countryman in a time of need.”
Fellow veteran Faculty Assistant (FA) Fred Sanders spent 29 years in the Air Force and he is mentally prepared for the hustle of the job.
“My experiences and core values help me stay dedicated, honest, respectful and punctual,” Sanders said.
Many different staff members have served while others like social studies teacher Kelly Krejnik have taken values from their close family members who have served.
“I have two brothers in the Marines, a great grandfather who was in the Air Force and a great uncle who was in the Navy during WWII,” said Krejnick. “They greatly influence me my decisions and make me appreciative of my freedom”