Post by Category : Teacher of the Year

Chapel Hill VFW Teacher of the Year

C. V. Cummings Chapel Hill Post 9100 is very pleased to announce our 2018 awardee of the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award.  We have selected Ms. Robin McMahon, Smith Middle  School, Chapel Hill.  As our local winner, Ms. McMahon was awarded $100 and local post support for her “NC to Normandy 2019” project.


Her nominating officer wrote, “The headline in the Smith Middle School newsletter said it all. It proclaimed “Veterans Day weekend 2018 will long be remembered by six Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools students as the official launch of their “NC to Normandy 2019” campaign to bring two World War II veterans back to Normandy, France, for the 75th Commemoration Ceremonies next June.”


Yes, Robin McMahon, a local French teacher has formed another group of current and former students for a trip to Normandy and Belgium. The students will escort two World War II veterans who served in Europe on a journey to the beaches of Normandy and the D-Day battle zones. They will stay with local French and Belgium families and relive their wartime experience, but this time as honored guests.


This is not the first trip for Robin McMahon and her students. It is the third trip that I have had the pleasure of personally supporting through our local Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapel Hill Post 9100. Several of our members have gone to France as part of her program. What makes Ms. McMahon’s efforts so very unique is that she does not treat the event as a week away from school on a field trip. It is more than a student adventure.


She insists that her students plan, fund, and take the trip as a special project that honors others and involves veterans. They are required to raise all funds needed—at least $20,000. The students work with private groups, veterans groups, and through the media to raise the money. They plan every part of the trip with the focus on the veterans’ and their experience. Finally, they report on their trip by creating a formal video project that documents the journey from concept to ‘mission accomplished’.”


The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 9100, is a strong advocate of Ms. McMahon and her students.  We look forward to assisting her and helping with project funding.

Bill Melega – America in WW I

William Melega, a National Award Recipient of the VFW Teacher of the Year Award, has a lecture series and it is sponsored by the Chapel Hill PTA at the Chapel Hill Varsity Theater.
The first of the series of ten presentations is Thursday, Oct 19th.  Reception at 6:00 pm and Lecture at 7:00 pm.  
The first lecture commemorates the 100th Anniversary of America’s entrance into the First World War.  Cost is $25, $30 at the door.  A portion of the ticket cost goes to the PTSA and The Wounded Warrior Project.  
Elmer Hughes will attend with his son as a special guest of the PTA and William Melega.
Download the event flyer and schedule of future events.  Click Here.

Teacher of the Year Nomination

NC to Normandy Students of our 2015 Teacher of the Year
NC to Normandy Students of our 2015 Teacher of the Year

Our post has been very fortunate to nominate a number of local teachers for the VFW Teacher of the Year.  Four went on to win state awards and one was a national winner.


If you know of a teacher who excels in citizenship education, you are encouraged to nominate them for the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year Award.  


Learn more about this award

Civil War and World War I Lectures

Bill MelegaChapel Hill – The Civil War and World War I are still topics that generate interest today and an opportunity exists to brush up on your history knowledge – and learn something new.


Bill Melega is a history teacher at Chapel Hill High School and was named the 2010 Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Teacher of the Year. He is bringing his expertise to the community in the form of a weekly lecture covering portions of two of the most polarizing wars in human history.  


The five lectures covering the final stages of the Civil War begin Thursday night, January 8 from 7 to 8:30.  The World War I lectures will take place five weeks after the close of the Civil War series. The cost of attending the lectures is $75 for the entire series or $20 per session. Learn more

Robin McMahon Wins

We are very pleased to announce that Ms. Robin McMahon of Smith Middle School was selected as the first place winner of the District 6 VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year award.


Robin McMahonMs. McMahon will now represent District 6 posts in the Department of North Carolina competition.  The state winner goes on to national competition.


She is an outstanding teacher and role model for her students.  This year she worked closely with former students on a special project, NC to Normandy—a journey for a local Navy D-Day participant and a decorated Battle of the Bulge Army Scout. The student’s project description said it best, “We are four high school students driven to honor the sacrifice of all veterans.” The students created a project plan; a fund raising program; community awareness meetings, and publicity which generated local television, print, and radio coverage; and the recruitment and selection of veteran participants. Our post was their first venture to test the feasibility of the plan and earned them a $1,000 post-provided fund to kick-start the project. We were the founding project sponsor.  Learn more


The NC to Normandy site has a video on the project.  It would not have happened without the motivation, inspiration, and support of Ms. McMahon.  We are proud of her and her students.

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VFW Contest Winners Announced

Chapel Hill Post 9100 is very proud to announce local winners of VFW contests for 2014-2015.  This is for Teacher of the Year, Patriot’s Pen, and Voice of Democracy. 


Our contests and  winners are:


Patriot’s Pen – Jake Marold, Chapel Hill


Voice of Democracy – Aaron J. Hirsch


VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher of Year (Middle School) – Ms. Robin McMahon, Smith Middle School, Chapel Hill


We thank the many students who entered local competition and their teachers for their support of VFW oral and essay contests.  To learn more about each program and last year’s winners, click on the highlighted category in the story above.


All winners went on to District competition to  represent Chapel Hill Post 9100 and Chapel Hill.  Winners of our local District 6 were announced and details are posted at the District 6 website.  Learn more


Winners at the district level go on to compete in statewide competition and the possibly of representing our Department of North Carolina in national competition.

Local Students to Attend 70th D-Day Celebration  0

Local high school students are planning on a visit to Europe to visit the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-mer.  Six amazing teenagers are working toward an invitation to volunteer at the 70th D-Day celebration.  They are also hopeful to have local World War II veterans join them on their journey.  They know that these veterans would also like to travel to the 70th D-Day celebration, but might hesitate to travel alone.
DDay landingThrough class events, the students have met and been inspired by these brave veterans who have since passed: Robert Patton, Vince Norako, and Tony Marimpietri.  They heard what it was like to have the Allied soldiers liberate Paris from Chantal Shafrock, who was a teen in Paris at that time.
Since 2009 about 30 students have traveled to the American Cemetery in Normandy.  They stayed with families in Liege, Belgium, but an important piece of history, sacrifice and honor was experienced when they walked Omaha Beach, visited the American Cemetery and imagined the effects of war at Pointe du Hoc.
This year’s group of six students, who are now juniors in high school (17 years old), would like to return to Normandy and volunteer to help with the 70th D-Day celebration. They are students who traveled  in 2011 and who have a deep interest in honoring our veterans. These incredible young people  have had relatives and close friends fight in World War II and another hopes to be a history teacher and travel abroad with students.  All are doing very well in school, have achieved numerous honors, and speak French well.
C. V. Cummings Chapel Hill Post 6 is proud of these students and their teacher, Ms. Robin McMahon.  They exemplify what the Veterans of Foreign Wars members looks for to recognize local students and educators who perform patriotic service in our community.  We will be following the students’ quest as they continue to work on the details of this year’s planned trip and wish them well as they wait on the official invitation to this years historic 70th D-Day celebration.
Here is a UNC-TV video on a recent class trip to France.
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Grady Brown Elementary Honors Post  0

Grady Brown Elementary School in Hillsborough is honoring local volunteers and people who have made a difference to the school.  Grady Brown is also the school of our North Carolina Teacher of the Year 2013 (K-6).

Grady Brown 2012 (8)Comrades are invited to attend their Thank You Get Together on Monday, June 3rd, at 10:30 a.m.  Lets give them a strong showing.  This school is very patriotic and honors local veterans many times each year.

Directions to school

Byerly Receives State Teacher of the Year Award  0

District Commander Heavlin presented the North Carolina Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year award yesterday to Ms. B. A. Byerly of Grady A. Brown Elementary School.

Grady Brown Byerly 2012The award presentation was held at the monthly school faculty meeting where Ms. Byerly received her award before the faculty.  Orange County School Superintendent Patrick Rhodes was also in attendance.   Junior Vice Commander Ed Gill and his wife, Karen, represented Post 9100.

It was a delightful event and, from the published story today, the meeting continued as a tribute to Ms. Byerly.  You could feel the pride and excitement that all the teachers.  Ms. Byerly is well loved.  Read local new story

This is the third time that our post has nominated a teacher who went on to win the Department of North Carolina Teacher of the Year Award.  One of them, Bill Melega of Chapel Hill High School, went on to win national honors.

We are proud to support this very important program, as it gives us an opportunity to encourage and motivate local teachers by honoring them through personal recognition.

Grady Brown Elementary’s Teacher of the Year  0

Betty Ann Byerly

Chapel Hill Post 9100 is proud to announce that Ms. Betty Ann Byerly was selected as our Teacher of the Year, Elementary School, Grades K-5. Ms. Byerly represented our post in district competition and also won at that level. She is now a candidate for State recognition and possibly continuing on as the North Carolina candidate for grades K-5.

This award recognizes teachers who promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette, and patriotism.

Ms. Byerly is a coach and physical education instructor. She teaches six classes a day and has direct interaction with all of the students in Grady Brown Elementary School, Hillsborough. Her nominating essay highlights included:

  • Responsibility for Safety Patrol program students; including training and selection of members
  • Flag Raising and Lowering ceremonies for school
  • Organization the Young Citizens Program to recognize and reward good citizenship by students
  • Her service as a driving force for Cougars for Character (school mascot) program to demonstrate, motivate, and recognize and reward students who excel in good school citizenship, and much more

Grady Brown Elementary school also holds annual Veterans Day events for the Second Grade. In this event local veterans are invited to attend a special assembly of students. The students recite historical information about our flag and sing patriotic songs for attending veterans. This program reflects the values taught to these young children by Ms. Byerly.

Our Post is honored to have a person of Ms. Betty Ann Byerly’s demonstrated excellence to represent our community in the National Citizenship Education Teacher Award for this year.

All teachers in public, private or home schools are eligible for consideration of this award.  If you know a teacher who plans field trips to city hall, organizes community volunteer projects or invites local veterans to speak in class, or anything to help students  develop a better understanding of democratic values and beliefs, this award is for them.  Learn more