by Steve Peterson
Akron-Westfield Community School conducted the traditional School Opening Ceremony for the 2011-12 school year on Aug. 24.
Members of the Albert Hoschler American Legion Post 186 presented the colors.
Member and Korean War veteran Dennis Hultgren gave the address.
“Be proud to be an American. We are a nation of immigrants. Unless we are descended from Native Americans, every one of us descended from someone, who came to the United States many years ago. They came from Europe, Asia. Africa, Latin America or any other place in the world you could name.
“This would not be so important, but even today, many people all over the world long to come to our wonderful country. Even though nothing is perfect it is still the preferred destination for those seeking fulfillment in their lives.
“This place we call home, and our home town, our school, is so special, we must show appreciation for this good place by doing all we can to make it even better,” said Hultgren.
Hultgren continued, “we make it better by our actions and words while we get our education and training for life in this building we call school. I attended a rural one-room school with only one teacher for all eight grades. We managed somehow to get a good education in spite of seemingly impossible primitive conditions, compared to what we are offered today.
“I know you have good caring teachers. However what you learn here is really up to you. Remember this, what you experience here will affect your life and success all your life,” said Hultgren.
“Be proud of yourself. Don’t do anything you are ashamed of. Be kind to each other. Read books, participate in music activities, participate in sports. Make good use of your time.
“School can be very happy and rewarding place to be with your friends, but it can also be very dangerous place if you only associate with dangerous friends. Be a good driver if you have a car. Beware of illegal drugs and alcohol use. I know that it is a different world, with different challenges than the one I grew up with over 80 years ago.
“These are the best years of your lives. Make the best of these years, make yourselves proud, and your parents proud of you also.
“We Veterans and members of The American Legion are proud of this School Opening Ceremony. This wonderful United States is where we grow, learn, love, and mature into good citizens.
“Again, good luck, and continue to make the best use of your experiences here,” said Hultgren.
New A-W Superintendent Larry Williams also gave remarks, saying this will be a very exciting school year.
Evan Appley and Jordan Wood, Boys State and Girls State program of the American Legion participants, did the honor of raising the flags.
The A-W Band played the National Anthem and school song. Then it was time for another school year to begin at Akron-Westfield Community School.
Doors open at A-W
for new school year