Brown School Veterans Day Ceremony Honored Local Veterans and Families of those Currently Serving in the Armed Forces Including John and Karen McKenna whose Son was Killed in the Line of Duty


(Schenectady, NY, November 11, 2014) – Brown School opened their doors to the community to honor both local veterans and those currently serving in the armed forces during a special Veterans Day ceremony. Among those honored included John and Karen McKenna whose son Captain John McKenna IV was killed in the line of duty.

Brown School took special care to prepare for the school-wide and community Veterans Day event which involved songs and special honors within a ceremony dedicated to the patriotic theme surrounding the day. This year they added a meaningful fundraising element. Students raised money for an organization coined Pets for Patriots that pairs pets from local animal shelters with Veterans. Students walked laps and for each one completed had the opportunity to throw their own coins into a bucket. Over $400 was raised in one day. Head of School Patricia Vitale said, “At Brown School we believe in supporting the community which surrounds us. While we help students support a variety of causes, the school has a few that really stand out. Our school community has adopted both Veterans issues and animal welfare as causes we can stand behind as a group. This is a powerful lesson for our students and staff.”

Another group honored at the Veterans Day ceremony included the Blue Star Mothers. Faculty and staff raised funds to support this group.

Local veterans were invited to join the all-school assembly. Students were encouraged to bring veteran guests. Jonina Wilkins, a Brown School music educator, worked with the children to learn meaningful songs.

Brown School holds this community-wide event each year. Vitale said, “ At Brown School we teach our students to be mindful of themselves within the community. We strive to have good relationships with those all around us and to give back whenever we can.”

Veterans Day is an annual U.S. holiday honoring military veterans. A federal holiday, it is observed on November 11th. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world.


About Brown:

Helen “Nellie” Brown founded Brown School in 1893 as an alternative to public schools. She envisioned a school where an individualized approach to learning would foster self-confidence, intellectual curiosity, and a life-long love of learning.

The school’s mission is to inspire each student to love learning while striving for academic excellence. Brown School’s teachers work to identify and develop the strengths of individual students, thereby stimulating discovery, imagination, and critical thinking. Small classes, a dedicated staff, and an innovative curriculum, combine to motivate children to reach their potential both academically and socially.

Brown School, a non-sectarian independent school in Schenectady, New York, has an absolute charter by the New York State Board of Regents and is accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools and the National Association of Independent Schools. School policy is determined by the Board of Trustees and implemented by the Head of School and Brown School staff members.


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