FOES students honor ‘heroes’ at Super Citizen graduation
Published 1:03 pm Monday, December 14, 2015
By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer
CHELSEA – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Mark Chandler was surprised to find out a few days before the Super Citizen Graduation at Forest Oaks Elementary School on Dec. 11 that he would be honored during the program.
Chandler’s 7-year-old son, Cooper, a second grader at FOES, nominated his father to be recognized as his classroom’s “real-life American hero” at the end of Liberty Learning Foundation’s 10-week Super Citizen Program.
“He’s awesome,” Cooper said of Mark, who has served in the military since 1986 and has been deployed to Korea, Kuwait and Iraq.
Mark said he eats lunch with Cooper’s class at the school on his days off, and he has attended Career Day at FOES.
“I was surprised,” Mark said of the recognition.
Cooper said he nominated his father as a hero because “he’s in the Army, and he serves our country.”
“It was sweet,” April Chandler, Mark’s wife, said. “I thought that was so special that he (Cooper) would think of his dad in that way. It was an honor for us.”
Mark’s mother, Lillian Chandler, and Cooper’s aunt, Karen Mueller, also attended the program on Dec. 11.
“We’re so proud of Mark,” Lillian said.
Other honorees included local public servants, school employees and even a dog: Scott Grant, School Resource Officer Ryan Shivers, Sandy Evers, Becky Shirley, Lauren Smith, Sarah Chavex, Don Williamson and Hero, Chelsea Fire and Rescue’s firehouse dog, Melinda Sams, Mayor Earl Niven and Brad Garrar.
During the 10-week Super Citizen Program, second- and fifth graders at FOES learning about character, financial literacy, civics, democracy and American history through music, videos and other classroom activities.
Students watched a slideshow with pictures from their activities and repeated a pledge together. Each student received a Super Citizen Graduation Certificate for completing the program.