There was excitement in the air at Hinesville’s Waldo Pafford Elementary School Feb. 14. Students and faculty gathered with the Fort Stewart Garrison command team and prominent members of the local community to celebrate the school’s 21st birthday and a grant received from the Choose Kindness Foundation in conjunction with the ribbon cutting of their brand new digital sign.
Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Garrison Commander Col. Manny Ramirez wished Waldo Pafford a happy birthday and credited his own daughter’s academic success to one of the school’s initiatives. Ramirez praised school leadership for their support of and significance to the students and Families from Fort Stewart who attend their school.
“This is a great celebration,” said Greg Cooke, Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield school liaison officer. “Waldo Pafford is one of our closest partners here to Fort Stewart. They have the highest military student population for an elementary school in Liberty County and they are a Military Flagship award-winning school. Their partnership with us runs deep and we truly appreciate all the work that they do.”
The event served as a celebration and an opportunity for community togetherness.
“This event is a fabulous opportunity for us to bring our families and military Family back on the school grounds to celebrate our partnerships,” said Valarie Lawson, Waldo Pafford Elementary School principal. “We are a military flagship school and that partnership means so much to us. This event was our way to say welcome back to campus to all our families.”
The partnerships between Fort Stewart and the local schools are important to the families and children who are stationed here. Spc. Chantia Williams was enthusiastic about her experience with the school. Her daughter attends kindergarten at Waldo Pafford and has had a great experience. Williams said that she and her daughter, “absolutely love it here.”
Fort Stewart leadership understands the importance of their partnerships with Liberty County Schools and has expressed their commitment to offer continued support.
“We will continue to partner with our Liberty County schools to ensure that we support the district as well as the individual schools with anything that they need.” Cooke said. “We look forward to a continued partnership and to further strengthen our relationship with Liberty County Schools in the future.”