Curran earns VFW teacher award

Published 10:39 pm Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jamie Curran considers it to be incredible that she was named the Veterans of Foreign Wars District Two Outstanding Teacher of the Year.

What’s even more incredible to her, though, are the men and women who make up the VFW posts across the country.

“I am so honored and humbled to receive this award from these brave men and women who have fought and are fighting for our freedom,” Curran said. “I can’t think of a better honor.”

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Curran, who is a physical education teacher at King’s Fork Middle School, challenges her students to think about the sacrifices made for them.

“I try to tell my kids that freedom isn’t free,” she said. “There’s a lot of sacrifice for our liberty.”

In fact, Curran has a list of quotes from the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to share with her students. For example, she likes to tell the story of Benjamin Franklin running into a woman as he was leaving the Constitutional Convention. The woman asked Franklin what the group of people was doing in the hall he had just left, and Franklin replied, “We have created a republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

“That’s true today, and children need to hear that and understand that,” Curran said.

Curran’s passion for her country as well as her job are immediately obvious when meeting her, according to those who know her.

“She’s a pistol, that’s the only way I know to describe her,” said Billy Blackmon, commander of VFW Post 9382. “She’s enthusiastic about her job. She brings a lot of that enthusiasm into the classroom. She’s a very patriotic individual, and she’s politically active. We need more people like her, especially in the classroom.”

Members of Post 9382 awarded Curran their Outstanding Teacher honor.

“She spends a lot of time with those kids,” Blackmon said. “She does a lot for her class, her students, which is above and beyond what she is paid to do.”

Specifically, Curran sponsors the school’s Young Men of Direction program, she coordinates World War II veterans to speak to the classes and she has students make Valentines cards to take to the Veteran’s Hospital.

Curran’s award from the Post qualified her to go on to compete against all the other posts in the district.

“They told me I would go on to the district, and I thought, oh, OK, that’d be nice,” Curran said. “I didn’t think much more about it.”

A month later, as Curran was picking up family members from the airport, she received a call saying she had won yet again,

“I was in the airport and I screamed and everybody was looking at me,” Curran said. “They thought I was a crazy person.”

But, again, Curran stressed the greatest honor of all was being able to meet with the men and women who made this country the one she loves so much.

“They are the greatest generation,” Curran said. “I can’t thank them enough for all they have done.”