By Eric Pilgrim | Fort Knox NewsOctober 30, 2019
Members of Fort Knox and surrounding communities joined faculty, staff and students in front of Fort Knox Middle High School Oct. 29 to celebrate the official dedication of the newly renovated school's annex.
Several students sat in chairs, watching and cheering as the director of Student Excellence at the Department of Defense Education Activity Americas Region spoke about the momentous occasion.
"Together you make up a very special school community, and I know you've been eagerly looking forward to this special day," said Dr. Judith Minor. "Fort Knox Middle High School has a long and proud educational tradition dating back to 1959, when it was first established."
Minor has educational oversight responsibility for 50 schools located in seven states, Puerto Rico and Cuba, which teaches over 21,000 students. She said the new annex will support the educational needs of the students.
"With this new 21st Century annex, it will support our military students' educational growth and achievement," said Minor. "This school unites DODEA with a team of local community members, school staff and the garrison to foster lifelong learning, and to prepare our students to be college and career ready."
Minor explained that the annex houses three areas that she called neighborhoods, which include a junior ROTC center, special education facilities, occupational and physical therapy centers, an art studio, band and choir rooms and a performance center.
"Each of the neighborhoods provides a learning environment that is adaptable and flexible," she said, explaining that they have four to five learning studios, a teacher collaboration area, small work rooms and one-on-one learning rooms. "Great things are happening here at Fort Knox Middle High School."
One of three guest speakers at the event, Fort Knox Senior Commander Maj. Gen. John Evans Jr. told the students to take advantage of all that the facilities have to offer.
"The reason we spent $23 million in building this annex and combining this incredible facility, and providing all the capabilities that you've been using frankly since August, and the reason we added 44,000 square feet to this facility to give you extra opportunities doesn't have anything to do with Fort Knox," said Evans. "It has to do with you as a learner: you as someone who is working through your educational career so that you can go on to be a better citizen for our country."
Evans said he recognizes that oftentimes students who are members of military families tend to get the concept of citizenship better than many others because of their parents' commitment to serving the nation.
Before leaving the stage, Evans offered the students three things to remember as they continue their education at the new facility.
"Live your lives with integrity, when you lose, lose with dignity," said Evans, "and when you win -- and I hope you win often -- win with humility."
Three students joined education and community officials to cut the ribbon on the new facility. After several attempts, the ribbon finally separated to the applause of students.
Afterward, Dr. Youlanda Washington, the Kentucky Community Superintendent for the Southeast District Department of DODEA, asked key members of the Army Corps of Engineers and others to stand and be recognized for designing and building the annex. She also praised the faculty and staff for filling it with knowledge.
"Today's ceremony symbolized DODEA's commitment to educating, engaging and empowering our students to succeed in a dynamic world," said Washington. "I am both honored and proud of the new Fort Knox Middle High School addition, and we present it to you."