Lee's Summit R-7 School District
CCE students cheer on veterans and their families at a morning parade.

Across the district, LSR7 educators planned special moments to celebrate Veterans Day.

Sitting in a Summit Lakes Middle School classroom on Veterans Day, seventh grader Haley Whitacre’s great-grandfather, Wilbur Stigler, shared an epiphany he recently had. Next month will mark 75 years since he landed in France to fight for the United States in World War II.


Pam Masters, Wilbur Stigler, Haley Whitacre and Ellie Lilly

Pam Masters, Wilbur Stigler, Haley Whitacre and Ellie Lilly


Seventh grade teacher Ellie Lilly looked on in amazement. She’s heard dozens of these memorable stories since she started inviting veterans to her classroom in 2015. Within a couple of years, it had become a yearly tradition embraced by the entire seventh grade team: Shahr Reza, Joe Hollingsworth, Julie Gerling and Ms. Lilly.

Students turned their Collaboration lab into a Veterans Cafe for students and veterans to mingle before heading to classrooms to talk about their service with students.

The day was full of other memorable moments, including when Craig Woodin, a retired Air Force flight engineer, surprised his stepdaughter, Lanie Vas, in his flight suit. Mr. Woodin didn’t think he’d be able to make the festivities until his boss let him out of work to participate. (KMBC, KCTV picked up this moment on their newscasts this week.)

Across the district, LSR7 educators created many special moments to help their students celebrate the veterans in their community.

At Cedar Creek Elementary, students and teachers lined the hallways holding flags and cheering a parade of veterans and their children and grandchildren who walked with them through the school. Veterans shared their experiences and pictures of the countries where they’d been deployed with Richardson Elementary sixth graders. 

Woodland Elementary hosted their inaugural Veterans Day assembly, joined by the Lee’s Summit West ROTC, Clarinet Ensemble and Horn Quintet. MSgt. Justin Eberhart spoke to the school community, veterans and guests about sacrifice, with his daughter Brooke by his side.

“The stuff the military teaches – respect, honor, dignity, integrity – it’s ingrained in me,” MSgt. Eberhart said. “What I hope to do, regardless if Brooke or my younger daughter join the military, is to instill that in them as well.”

Watch just a few from Summit Lakes Middle School, Woodland Elementary, Cedar Creek Elementary and Richardson Elementary.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,