Melissa Arnold, North Lamar High School English teacher, has been chosen as the recipient of the VFW Citizenship Education Teacher award. NLHS Principal Clint Hildreth nominated her for this prestigious award because she exemplifies VFW’s criteria for teachers who teach citizenship education topics regularly and promote America’s history and traditions effectively.
From all over America, the VFW annually identifies and recognizes the best educators who instill a sense of national pride in students. Nominations are submitted by fellow teachers, supervisors or other interested individuals not related to the candidate including the candidate’s innovative teaching and resource development methods, as well as his or her dedication to education.
“First of all, I would like to thank Mr. Hildreth for nominating me for this award, and secondly, I would like to thank Mr. Bud Mackey and the VFW Post 3990 for honoring me with this prestigious designation,” Arnold said upon receiving the award. “Needless to say, teaching is rewarding in a way that is difficult to explain.”
Caring deeply about what her students are learning of America’s traditions and ideals, Arnold said, “I find rewards almost every day, and helping students find ways to serve their community brings immense joy to me and to my students. For instance, I wish everyone could have seen the looks of amazement and accomplishment when the National Honor Society members raised $1100 to donate to CASA for Kids. Also, I wish everyone could have witnessed the looks of wonder and admiration as Mr. Son, a veteran of the Vietnam War, shared what is was like to fight for the South Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. Hopefully, the idea of being selfless will continue to resonate throughout my students’ lives as they become aware of the fact that being a part of a community means more than just living in it.”
As the nominee for VFW Post 3990’s, Arnold advances to the District-level contest and is to include an essay and documentation of her teaching experience. Winners at this level continue to the State-level with hopes of making it all the way to the national contest. Commemorative plaques, cash awards and all-expenses-paid trips to the VFW National Convention are a possibility for all worthy teachers advancing this far.