Torrington Middle School ceremony recognizes area veterans [Register Citizen]

December 4, 2014

Register Citizen
TORRINGTON >> Before she became a sixth-grade math teacher at Torrington Middle School, Teri Bradshaw sought an experience that would help her shed her shy demeanor.

So in 1983, after a year in college, the Houston native decided to enlist with the U.S. Marines, as she figured they had the toughest boot camp in the armed forces.

“I joined for the challenge,” Bradshaw said. “I was extremely shy and I had a lot of confidence inside, but was afraid to show it.”
Bradshaw served four years of active service, working primary as a military police officer. She ended up in education after a brief and uninspiring career as an accountant.

On Friday, Bradshaw joined four other veterans on the Torrington Middle School auditorium stage during a ceremony recognizing them for their service. The ceremony was sponsored by Cablevision’s Optimum Community, the company’s community and education initiative.

Bradshaw was one of two faculty members, along with teacher Lisa Owens-Hicks, who are veterans that work at the school. The assembly included more than 150 eighth grade students at TMS.

Bradshaw said the students, who had an opportunity to ask the veterans questions, were caring.

“They ask very thoughtful questions,” Bradshaw said. “I think they are very considerate and understanding.”

State Reps. Jay Case, R-63, and Michelle Cook, D-65, as well as state Sen. Clark Chapin, R-30, were all in attendance, offering words of appreciation for veterans and advice for how the youth could appreciate their service.

“If we look back in history, the United States was founded by people who wanted to be free,” Chapin said. “Those who fought the Revolutionary War fought for the right to be free and those soldiers became America’s very first veterans.”

The ceremony included an address from several eighth graders who spoke about the history of Veterans Day, celebrated two weeks ago on Nov. 11, and about the history of the country’s appreciation of veterans, including the story behind the Tomb of the Unknowns in Washington.

Eighth grade history teacher Eva Kaminski introduced the group of students before they spoke to their peers.

“In their time here at TMS, students have expanded their sense of global citizenship through their study of ancient and modern world cultures,” Kaminski said. “They begin to become conscious participants in their American citizenship within the American civics and history curriculum.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, representatives from Optimum presented the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapter and the middle school with $1,500 checks. The money for the school will help fund the school’s veteran recognition program.