Stockton students rewarded for servant leadership with trip to Washington, D.C.

Stockton students rewarded for servant leadership with trip to Washington, D.C.
The John N.C. Stockton Elementary School Safety Patrol in front of the White House in Washington, D.C.

Two long days of travel bracketed four days touring 11 memorials and monuments, four museums, one cemetery, one cathedral, one famous house and one theme park. For 25 fifth-grade students at John Stockton Elementary School, the trip to Washington, D.C., and Williamsburg, Virginia, was reward for a job well done as members of the school safety patrol.

“I think fifth-grade patrols have been attending this trip for well over 30 years,” said Misty Allen, a specialist in the gifted program for Duval County Public Schools. “JSO takes groups for three consecutive weeks during the summer. I think about 1,000 patrols attend the trip from all over the county.”

Allen and fourth-grade teacher Georgia Smith-Miller were among 14 chaperones, including JSO Officer Arthur Prater, who left Jacksonville in the wee hours of the morning June 17, returning late in the day June 22. Packed into three days in the nation’s capital were stops at the White House, the Washington National Cathedral, three Smithsonian museums and the interactive Newseum, a variety of memorials, and Arlington National Cemetery where they witnessed the changing of the guard and the wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The Stockton Safety Patrol and chaperones in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

The Stockton Safety Patrol and chaperones in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

“The Air and Space Museum was my favorite because I enjoyed learning about the planes and eating space food. I also liked Arlington National Cemetery because I enjoyed looking back at the past people who served us,” said Catherine Brewer, of Ortega Forest. Classmate Andrea Lundahl, lives in the Venetia area, said she enjoyed visiting the U.S. Mint “because I enjoyed learning about the process of printing our money.”

The trip was capped with a stop at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, where students let off energy enjoying rides in the theme park.

The longstanding annual tradition for the safety patrol and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office began at the start of the school year with a variety of fundraising events. “Our school does a great job of fundraising for the trip all year long,” Allen said. “Some of the fundraising came from selling Dreamette gift cards, Heavenly Ham gift cards, poinsettias, tickets to the dunk booth at the Stockton Fall Festival, hosting school dances, yearbook ads, hosting the Stockton Fun Run, and selling school t-shirts.”

The students are selected for safety patrols based on leadership abilities, attendance, and citizenship, Allen said. “They serve the school all school year, coming early for roll call and before school duties, then stay late for after school duties. They mainly help with arrival and dismissal of students, morning announcements and assist teachers before and after school.  The trip is a special reward for their service to the school all year,” said Allen.

“My favorite part of being a patrol was getting to spend time with my friends,” said Brewer, while Lundahl said her favorite job was on the Media Patrol scriptwriting for the Stockton Morning Show.


By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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