Board of Education Regular Meeting, Monday, April 15th at 6:00 pm in the Media Center at E.F. Rittmueller. Read the agenda here.

The guardians of our freedoms

You had to be here.
Oh wait! Maybe you were!

The Veterans Day assembly sponsored by our 4th graders in the BPAC this morning touched all the right chords.
As a veteran myself, I’m sure the hearts of every man and woman who have served – or are still serving – were stirred by the special songs and reflections of our students.
Along with nation’s veterans, our elementary music teacher Carina Pisani deserves a big thank you, too. The assembly was a wonderful tribute in every way.

Our school year theme of “What’s Your Story?” is appropriate for Veterans Day, too!

Hope you enjoy these.

My time of military service occurred while I was in the Army Reserves from 1993-1999.

I ended at the rank of Staff Sergeant. As a Drill Sergeant, I trained soldiers at Ft. Benning, GA and also Junior ROTC cadets in Michigan, including Infantry and Human Resources Military Occupation in Advance Training School.

Unfortunately, all of my photos from this decade were destroyed by a basement flood in my home years ago.

All I could salvage was my Drill Sergeant  “Campaign Hat”.

Obviously, I didn’t make this hat famous… but someone else sure did!

Perhaps you remember Sergeant Carter from the old TV show “Gomer Pyle.”  (I hope there’s more than 3 of us who do!)

And I’m especially grateful to these five FSD staff members who each took the time to share a personal reflection.

Karen Uebler 
Board of Education Trustee & Community Education Instructor

It’s a great question: What did serving our country mean to me? To me it meant Honor, Duty, and Service. And I still see it my duty to serve my community and my nation in whatever way I can.

Ann-Marie Autsema Baumgardner
College and career advisor and librarian – FHS

This is a picture of my father, Donald John Autsema on leave from the Airforce in 1961. My father was born in The Netherlands in 1940, just a few months after the Nazi’s occupied The Netherlands. When the Allied forces freed the Netherlands, the American soldiers gave my father his first taste of chocolate and he was determined that one day he would be one of them. Clearly our country is complicated, but my father’s enduring love for his adopted country is something that will always make me feel proud and humble.

Lori A. Schuler
English 8/reading & 7/reading specialist

This is my husband, Brady Schuler.  He served in the Army for 2 years after graduating from Frankenmuth High School in 1983, and he is probably the most patriotic, country-first, proud veteran I know.  My kids and I have always admired and boasted about his service to his country.

Derek Lemanski
Math & PE teacher – FHS

Serving my country means much more to me now than it did at age 18.  I joined the USAR because I underachieved in school academically and needed a way to pay for college.  As I look back on it, I’m very glad I served.  It provided me with the means to go to college and taught me much regarding personal accountability and respect.   
Now, 35 years later, I’m very proud that I served.  I have had the opportunity to visit and see Honduras, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Romania, Italy, Belgium, Poland, and Czech Republic.  I wouldn’t trade our standard of living for what I witnessed and experienced in any of those countries.  I proudly recite the Pledge of Allegiance and stand for our National Anthem.  I believe in the principles that our country was founded on and am glad that I served to uphold and protect those principles. 

Rob Baker
Science & Math Teacher – FHS 

Lieutenant • 7 years U.S. Navy pilot, NAS Norfolk, VA • E-2C Hawkeye Pilot •  Plane Commander • Deployed on USS Saratoga in Mediterranean Sea and USS America twice to the Indian Ocean • USS AMERICA was the first US Navy carrier to transit the Suez Canal • Over 300 carrier landings and nearly 3000 operational flight hours

I am passionate about my country and proud of my military service of seven years. I believe our freedom and ability to have choices are a result of those who defended our country prior to my service ­and I served to maintain our freedom and respect those who continue to fight for our freedom.


Next week I’ll be back on a regular school news track (I hope!).
And I especially look forward to telling you more about Jason Vislosky, who will begin as our new principal at List Elementary soon.
For now – join me in reaching out to thank a veteran today.

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