Maj. Jennifer Newsome with Miranda Dodd.
Maj. Jennifer Newsome with Miranda Dodd, a third-grader from the Louis J. Morris Elementary School in Huntsville, Ala. (Photo courtesy of the Louis J. Morris Elementary School)

Maj. Jennifer Newsome talked all day while in school and didn?'t get into any trouble.

Newsome, the Washington Division Chief, Army Contracting Command-Redstone, Ala., visited students at Louis J. Morris Elementary School in Huntsville, Ala., where she read to a group of first-graders and participated in a question and answer session with third- and fourth-graders. Newsome said the experience was nothing less than extraordinary.

?"As requested, I showed up in all of the aviator apparel thinking that I would be meeting some great kids and simply reading to them and telling them how important reading and studying are to their future," said Newsome, who was a Chinook helicopter pilot prior to entering contracting. ?"The experience was so much more. They were all so inquisitive and smart beyond what I thought first graders could possibly know. Those children are our future and I can tell you, our future is bright. I really think I received more from the visit than they did."

Patricia Boyd, the principal at the elementary school, agrees.

?"Our students loved Maj. Newsome," Boyd said. ?"She exposed them to a new profession and provided an opportunity to interact with someone who they normally would not see in their daily lives. Perhaps her visit encouraged a child to pursue her field of expertise."

Boyd said the school has guest speakers for the National Education Association?'s ?"Read Across America" program in conjunction with Dr. Seuss's birthday, but could use more volunteers.
?"We need role models for our students such as successful black male and female, Hispanic male and female personnel," the principal said. ?"We don?'t have many military personnel come and speak because we have few military families, so we would appreciate any support."

Speaking at schools is nothing new for Newsome. Her mother was a school teacher for 44 years and the major would go speak to the children whenever she visited home. She said this particular group kept her on her toes.

?"Some of the children asked questions about the forces that act on a helicopter like drag, lift, thrust and weight. It absolutely amazed me that they were so incredibly smart. I'm not exactly sure when I started learning about the science behind those forces, but I certainly don't think it was as young as they are," Newsome said.

Page last updated Tue February 4th, 2014 at 15:22