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PCSD students honor local heroes for Veterans Day

November 18, 2019


Veterans Day in the Parma City School District was a special time where students and staff honored and recognized the brave men and women who have fearlessly served in the Armed Forces.

Schools throughout the district had a variety of programs, special events and activities to salute the heroes of our country.

Here are the highlights from the Veterans Day 2019.

Dentzler Elementary School: For eight years, Dentzler has been raising money for the Greater Cleveland Fisher House. Students asked family and friends to sponsor them for the annual Veterans Day Walk around the building as well as held a bake sale to raise money. This year, the school raised $1,140 bringing the grand total to over $13,000 donated to the Greater Cleveland Fisher House.

In addition to the walk, students sang songs, read aloud history about the branches of the military, watched a video tribute to veterans, and heard from representatives at the Greater Cleveland Fisher House during their Veterans Day assembly on November 8. Veterans in attendance were invited to walk with students and treated to breakfast.

“We want to show our appreciation for our veterans each year by having a Veterans Day program honoring any veteran associated with our students. That could include neighbors, friends, and relatives,” Principal Renee Dzurnak shared. “It is important for our students to understand respect, appreciation and honor for those who have sacrificed for us and our freedom. This helps our students understand what service to others looks like.”

Green Valley Elementary School: On November 11, students participated in an all-school assembly that featured many patriotic songs including “This Land is Your Land,” Yankee Doodle,” “Grand Old Flag,” “America the Beautiful,” and “What a Wonderful World.”

There were also many student speakers who shared information about Veterans Day, the history of the branches of the military, and their appreciation for their freedoms. The school held a moment of silence at 11 a.m. during the assembly.

Hillside Middle School: Adorned in red, white and blue, students and veterans were invited to the school’s media center for a special Veterans Day breakfast on November 11.

While enjoying breakfast, honored guests heard powerful and emotional speeches written by students. Students and veterans could also take a photo together to commemorate the day. Girl and Boy Scouts honored each branch of the military by carrying their flag.

All guests and students then went outside for a big group photo by a patriotic sign outside of the building that read, “Hillside Honors Our Veterans”.

John Muir Elementary School: Students at John Muir celebrated veterans with song and words at their November 11 ceremony. American Legion Post 572 posted the colors at the assembly, and then students from the Viking Singers performed “Bless Our Troops” and “Who Do We Appreciate” for everyone in attendance.

Luke Johnson, a fourth grader, then read a statement reflecting on the service from our veterans. That message of service was also echoed by the principal, Karl Schneider.

“One of the absolute most important aspects of our lives is serving others,” Schneider shared. “Veterans have embraced the importance of serving and provide us with what I consider as the quintessential example of service for our country.”


“For all of us, their service, sacrifice, commitment and selflessness can be motivation and an inspiration for us to find ways in our school, in our community and with our families to try and live according to these ideals and follow through on living a life of service and putting the needs of others ahead of our own,” he added. “For these reasons and more, we consider it an honor to host a Veterans Day program at John Muir and to share in the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate our veterans with our students.”

Normandy High School: Students and staff at Normandy showed their respect for those who bravely served our country through a morning assembly November 11. Musical performances, readings, and speeches from guest speakers inspired all students in attendance and honored those who served our country.


Parma Park Elementary School: Students put on a very patriotic performance for veterans and honored guests on November 11 for Veterans Day. There were readings by student council members, a play written by a fourth-grade student performed for the audience, several songs sung by Parma Park Chorus, a video presentation honoring the Armed Forces, and a special message from Parma Heights Mayor Michael P. Byrne.

“I believe it is important for students to recognize our nation's heroes and the sacrifices they made and continue to make for us to have the freedoms we have,” expressed Natalie James, dean of students at Parma Park. “At the elementary level, many younger students don't have a complete understanding of what a veteran is and what they've done. By recognizing this at our assembly, they are given an understanding, visuals, and examples of why we take the time to recognize those in the Armed Forces and how important the Armed Forces are to our country.”

Parma Senior High School: Students invited the veterans in their lives to a breakfast held on November 11. Sponsored by Parma High’s PTSA and History Club, students spent time honoring local heroes. The PSH choir performed the “National Anthem” and “America the Beautiful.” Veterans also received thank you notes from students and two students read speeches addressed to those in attendance.


Pleasant Valley Elementary School: Every year, Pleasant Valley salutes veterans through two very special concerts. Over 400 students sang in the choir for each performance and the program celebrated veterans and their families on November 11 this year.


About 75 students ‘lit a candle’ for a family member currently serving our country and 80 veterans attended the annual event. Over 260 people attended the morning concert and about 275 people attended the afternoon concert.


Students also wrote thoughtful letters to veterans and PTA hosted a reception after each concert for all guests.


Ridge-Brook Elementary School: On November 8, staff and students participated in an all-school assembly to show honor, respect and appreciation to the veterans in the community. There were student readers and a patriotic choir performance. Members of American Legion Post 572 were in attendance to post the colors.

The student leadership team also announced the school had raised $261 for Wreaths For Western Reserve, to be laid at veterans graves at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in December.

Shiloh Middle School: Shiloh calls special attention to Veterans Day, with the school honoring veterans through a different theme each year. This year, the theme was ‘Real Heroes Wear Dog Tags’.

“The inspiration for the dog tag display comes from the ‘Above and Beyond’ or ‘Silver Cloud’ display in the Vietnam Veterans Museum in Chicago,” explained Heidi Dzur, intervention specialist and student council advisor at the school. “The exhibit is comprised of 58,307 dog tags, representing the American fatalities from Vietnam, all suspended from the ceiling. Our display was comprised of current, retired, and/or fallen veterans who are related to our students and staff.”

The school not only hung dog tags at the front entrance, but also held a breakfast to honor and show appreciation for veterans on November 11.


Shiloh also raised money for Wags 4 Warriors, and are continuing to collect donations until Thanksgiving Break. Donations can be sent or dropped off at the school.


“We chose Wags 4 Warriors for two reasons,” Dzur added. “First, it was an extension of our theme of Real Heroes Wear Dog Tags.  Second, is that one of our staff member’s husband is a recipient of a Wags 4 Warriors canine companion.”

Thoreau Park Elementary School: Like many other schools in the district, Thoreau Park celebrated service and honored veterans through a special morning program on November 11.

Students could invite the important veteran in their lives to breakfast, which was followed by an all-school assembly and choral performance from students to honor all those who have served our country.

Check out our Veterans Day online photo gallery at