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Medal of Honor Curriculum flies high at Cedar Bluff Middle School
 
Veteran's Day Program
Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Bruce Crandall presents Medal of Honor flag to Cedar Bluff Middle 
As a symbol of courage and selfless service, the Medal of Honor (MOH) flag now proudly soars above Cedar Bluff Middle School each day. The flag was presented to the school at a Veteran’s Day Assembly on Tuesday, November 13 where Medal of Honor Recipient Colonel Bruce Crandall was the guest speaker. Cedar Bluff is the first in the nation to fly the Medal of Honor flag which is an honor made possible by the collaboration between the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation Character Development Program and Cedar Bluff Middle School social studies teachers, Tim Smith and Amy Melendy. 
 
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Forces of the United States and is generally presented by the President of the United States in the name of Congress. The Medal of Honor Foundation began working with educators over two years ago to create lessons based on the ideals exemplified by the Medal of Honor. Lessons focus on real life application of the Six Pillars of Character which are courage, commitment, integrity, citizenship, sacrifice, and patriotism. 
 
After learning more about the program last spring, Smith and Melendy were inspired by the program’s desire to incorporate these character principles while using methodologies that meet several curriculum standards in reading, language, and social studies. In August, Cedar Bluff Middle School teachers worked together to implement the character development program into the curriculum. Students in 7th grade watched a video vignette of Medal of Honor recipient Private First Class (PFC) Sammy Davis then using the character traits answered the question, “What makes a true hero?” In addition, reading teachers taught a lesson on sequencing using written text about PFC Davis. 
 
Representatives from the MOH Character Development Program were impressed with execution of the lessons into almost all subject areas. As a result, they plan to use Smith and Melendy’s work as a model for other schools across the nation and awarded Cedar Bluff Middle School with the MOH flag in appreciation. 
 
 “I am very hopeful that this program will be instrumental in changing the climate of our school for the better,” Smith said. “Students are showing a great excitement about learning more about the MOH recipients.” Smith believes these men serve as the ultimate role model and hearing them tell their story with real emotion and honesty leaves a lasting impression with students. The most memorable part of this journey for Smith and Melendy was meeting Col. Crandall and exposing the students to a real hero.  
 
Educators working together to build a quality learning experience that supports both core curriculum goals and character development for students is an outstanding example of the Knox County School’s Strategic Plan in action. 

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