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Warsaw Community Schools recently welcomed Thomas Franklin to share his journey as an award-winning photographer, multimedia journalist, documentary filmmaker and college professor.

Franklin is best known for his iconic flag raising image taken at ground zero of the World Trade Center immediately after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. This widely recognized photograph was featured on the United States Postal Service’s heroes fundraising stamp. Proceeds from these stamps have generated over $10 million dollars for those affected by 9/11.

A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2002, Franklin’s image was cited by Life as one of the “100 Photographs That Changed the World.” The photo has become part of a permanent collection of the library of congress, the Newseum and the National September 11 Museum.

Franklin first met with students of Warsaw Community High School during a special convocation honoring veterans in the Warsaw Performing Arts Center. The event featured the presentation of colors by the WCHS JROTC program; the performance of the “National Anthem” by WCHS select choral as well as the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful” by the WCHS choir.

Franklin shared his experience as a multi-media journalist at the scene of the World Trade Center and the incredible effect his photos had not only on his life, but the lives of others. 

Following the Veterans Day program, Franklin met with high school photography and journalism students to share tips and advice for students interested in multi-media communications. Approximately 86 students had the unique opportunity to engage with Franklin in a classroom setting to learn more about his techniques and the artistic process behind “making a photo.” A question and answer session followed this presentation with an opportunity for students to take a group photo with Franklin at the close of the session.

Franklin concluded his visit with a presentation to Warsaw Community Schools' fifth grade students in the Warsaw PAC. During this presentation, Franklin encouraged students to pursue their dreams and goals while enriching the lives of others.
On Tuesday, Nov. 21, the Warsaw FFA Chapter will host their 14th annual Community Appreciation Supper & Member Workers’ Auction in the WCHS Cafeteria. The evening will begin with a free chili and hot dog supper that will be served from 5:30-7 p.m. FFA members will be serving supper to show their appreciation for the support local businesses and community members have provided to the chapter over the years.

FFA members volunteer four hours of community service in return for a monetary donation to our chapter to support activities throughout the year. Some of the activities include state and national conventions, career development events, leadership contests, supplies and materials for those contests and monthly chapter activities.  This annual event is a great way to support your local FFA chapter and impact its members.

All community members and businesses are invited to join the Warsaw FFA for an evening of good food and fun.

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Back Row: Katie Wood, Reagan Rowland, Zach Howard, Jacob Baker, Hunter Lane, Katie Zorn, Ayden Ault, Kyleigh Dove, Haley Archer, Morgan Smith. Front Row: Ciara Stout, Valerie Messmore, Dallasen Fulk, Katilyn Bays, Allison Heinrich, Reese Rowland.
As the fall colors come into full view, being outside during the school day provides students an even better learning experience. 

Claypool Elementary has started a three-year plan to bring a network of trails and learning centers to the students and staff. The woods north of the school building will be home to several hundred meters of nature trails along with outdoor classrooms and observation points.

Year one of the plan is nearing completion with a trail leading along the pond, through the woods and down to the creek. Approaching the creek, the trail widens to an outdoor classroom, complete with seating and a whiteboard.

Darci Zolman, a representative from the Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation, provided valuable knowledge and resources to help get the project going. According to research presented by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, school performance increases with outdoor learning opportunities.  

 Students’ attitudes toward school, test scores and behavior all see a marked improvement as well. Other notable influences on students include a positive sense of self, creativity and empathy towards others. Many of the Claypool teachers have already taken advantage of the trail and outdoor classroom. Students are eager to continue outdoor learning opportunities and look forward to the additions that the next two years will bring.
Warsaw Community Schools recently hosted the second annual Back to The Days living-history event. Fourth grade students from WCS, Sacred Heart and Warsaw Christian schools traveled back in time to discover what life was like for Indiana’s early settlers through experiencing a variety of hands on stations and reenactments.

Approximately 650 students visited 12 stations throughout the day-long event. Stations included a presentation by a civil war soldier with the firing of a small canon; building a miniature log cabin; an introduction to historic and antique farm equipment and tractors; the history of Abraham Lincoln’s life as a Hoosier from the 16th president himself; authentic lessons inside Harrison’s historic school house; discovering the challenges faced by colonial surgeons; researching the many uses and anatomy of cattails; enjoying songs and tales from a Native American tribe; observing historic rope making practices; learning the process of creating textiles; designing a personalized squares for a quilt project; and exploring the history of Hoosier men and women in the armed forces.

“We are so thankful to our presenters, volunteers and school staff for making another year of Back to the Days a huge success! We are passionate about teaching history to our students as we believe a reflective view of our history informs our decisions in the present,” stated Dave Robertson, WCS chief academic officer. “We want students to develop a love of our state's history and hopefully this event helps ignite that passion!”

The event was made possible through the help of 20 presenters, 63 volunteers and numerous community sponsors. Volunteers included Warsaw Community High School students, Warsaw Community Public Library staff and WCS employees. Sponsors included the Kosciusko County Community Foundation, Pandora Printing, Rabb Water, Grace College, Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams, Warsaw Breakfast Optimists and WCS Elementary Parent-Teacher Organizations.

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