Communities across Palm Beach County came together Dec. 15 to honor the memory of veterans in the “Wreaths Across America” ceremony at the South Florida National Cemetery. Seminole Ridge High School’s JROTC Hawk Battalion performed the saber arch and served as ushers at the ceremony, carrying wreaths from each of the service branches — Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine — as well as a wreath representing American POWs and MIAs.
The cadets were accompanied by representatives of each branch, with the cadet carrying the POW wreath joined by a survivor of a Vietnamese POW camp. Upon reaching the wreath stands, cadets handed their wreaths to their escorts, who placed them in the proper fashion with a salute. Special volunteers were recognized, stories were shared, the national anthem was sung, and the crowd was given the opportunity to reflect on a speech from Congressman Allen West (R-District 22).
In other JROTC news, the Hawk Battalion, let by cadet lieutenant colonel John Christian, has announced a promotion in ranks for many of its cadets. The following were promoted to private: Tyler Alexis, Jean Berdecia, Austin Bowling, David Bunting, Michael Christian, Thomas Cerrone, Myriah Dixon, Joseph Fioramonti, Justin Fitts, Aaron Kirk, Alyssa Laux, Jorge Morales, Tyler Parks, Orlando Plain, Andrew Sands, Matthew Stevens and Travis Westbrook.
Kamarley Campbell, Rebecca Gonzalez, Alexander Harre, Benjamin Hoffman, Destiny Wilder, Myles Wilkerson and Rebecca Wise were promoted to private, first class. Elaine Batres, Shaina Gallagher, Elaine Reyes, Samantha Sieber and Alec Wasko were promoted to corporal. Shane Campbell, Nathan Core, John DiCampli, Mckenzie Fuentes, Brooke Gaster, Boston Hunt, Dylan Reinhardt, Jose Ruiz, Shelby Shackelford and Durhan Williams were promoted to sergeant. Devon Breen, Corbett Pervenecki, Alexandria Thornton, and Morgan Wilson were promoted to staff sergeant.
Alexandra Bonilla, James Bukowski, Geoffrey Christian, Hunter Grabbe and Charlie Green were promoted to first lieutenant, and Christopher Mitton was promoted to captain.
Hawk Battalion cadets Devon Breen and James Bukowski contributed to this story.
• Hawk Mathletes Score High — Hawk freshman Amanda Vargo and senior Alec Gilbert earned the highest school scores (5 points out of a possible 7) on the American Scholastic Mathematics Association Contest No. 3 last week.
“Particularly noteworthy is Amanda’s score as a freshman,” Mathematics Department Chair Martha Schanel said.
Other notable scores (4 out of 7) were earned by Gianna Cannestro, Kyle Maglietta, Ryan Meingasner, Megan O’Hara, Jarrett Rimel, Cameron Schneider and Mitchell Vasquez.
This is Seminole Ridge’s first season entering math competitions, and students are off to a good start. The ASMA has six contests per year; the eight highest scores for each contest are reported to the association, and accumulated scores are published throughout the world to all participating schools. The ASMA contests are not subject-specific, but test competitors’ thinking skills as applied to numbers.
• FACE Party Delivers Holiday Cheer — The Seminole Ridge FACE Club recently held its annual holiday party for area craniofacial families.
“They’re one of the primary reasons for the club’s existence,” said sponsor and speech pathologist Peggy Larson.
The club also raises funds to donate to Operation Smile and, for the 2012-13 school year, a new organization called Operation Yuhum. “However,” Larson said, “the holiday party is the most fun!”
Larson said this has been a record-breaking year for the club, with more than 80 members currently on the roll this year, and about 60 contributing food, gifts and decorations to the event. Invitations to the party were sent out to area families by the West Palm Beach craniofacial children’s medical services clinic and the Joe DiMaggio Craniofacial Center, and more than two dozen families attended, the most ever for the club.
The attending children with the facial “difference” received gifts specifically chosen, purchased and donated by FACE club members. They, their siblings, and their family members were treated to games, crafts, music, dancing, karaoke and tables laden with food and desserts, and a good time was had by all. “With 60 club members donating to the event, there were gifts left over, and the club is donating those to the school district for its list of needy families this holiday season,” Larson said.
The FACE Club would like to thank Paul Haley, who donated $1,000 to the event, and Pasquale’s Restaurant in The Acreage and Tree’s Wings & Ribs in Royal Palm Beach for their funding and material support.
Above: FACE Club members Danielle Lagos, Sydney Shivers and others at a party table.