On the morning of June 2, the day before school let out for the summer, grade 3 students enjoyed a special visit from Colonel Patrick Shea, a general practice physician who served in the U.S. Air Force for 18 years. He is also the younger brother of lower school chef Matt Shea.
The colonel’s visit stemmed from a Veterans Day card-making project run by third grade homeroom and language arts teacher Elise Robichaud in November. After receiving cards made by the third graders, Colonel Shea contacted his brother, Chef Shea, to express his appreciation.
Robichaud then invited the colonel to come and speak with the students before the start of the lower school’s “Freedom of Choice Day,” during which students choose from variety of class sessions for a bit of fun on the last full day of school.
“Colonel Shea shared with the children just how valuable the cards they created were to military personnel, especially when they are deployed away from home. He even brought the cards with him, read the contents, and personally thanked each child for writing them. He wanted the children to understand that their cards are very valuable and help build morale,” recalled Robichaud.
Colonel Shea also answered questions from the students about his full dress uniform and all the ribbons he was wearing. He shared where he was deployed, how he has served and how wonderful advancements in medicine have increased survival rates for those in combat.
Following his talk, the students went on scavenger hunt created by lower school math and language arts teacher Kathy Ferretti. Afterward students headed to classrooms of their choosing, where they could select from a variety of activities. They also spent time watching the Movie Makers’ latest creation, a compilation of student-made three-minute video shorts, and enjoyed an end of the year party.
“It was a fun-filled, busy day for teachers and students alike on the last day of their third grade year. Another of the many grand adventures set forth for students as they wind their way through the halls of Harker!” said Heidi Gough, grade 3 history teacher.