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Medal of Honor: Brassard Wins Excellence in Character Education Award

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Staff

Cassady Darr, Reporter

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One of our very own teachers, Mr. Brassard., received the Excellence in Character Education award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. Brassard, along with two other teachers from Tennessee, were the first to receive this award. But how was he chosen?

“I submitted my modified lesson plan,” Brassard said. “I was encouraged by others to apply for it.”

Unlike some awards, there were no nominations. These participants had gone through previous training with the Medal of Honor Character Development Program. This program gives teachers a series of pre-planned lessons teaching six core values. Those values; courage, integrity, sacrifice, commitment, citizenship, and patriotism, all connect with stories of  MoH recipients. Brassard adapts these lesson plans to his own style and needs. This modification is what got him the highest scores.

“There was a panel of eight judges and four of those were previous Medal of Honor recipients,” Brassard said. “The judges gave me the highest scores among all the other high school teachers.”

The award was presented on stage in the Circle of Honor gala on October 7th in Los Angeles, California. The gala was full of MoH recipients, veterans, business owners, and entertainers. Bruce Crandall gave the introductions for each CDP award recipient.

“Bruce Crandall came up to me the night before the gala and told me that the only reason he was doing the introductions was because he was the only one who knew how to say ‘Puyallup’ correctly,” Brassard said.

The gala event was only a small part of his weekend as an award winner. Brassard arrived Friday for the weekend events. On Friday, they visited Pasadena High School with two MoH recipients who spoke to the law and justice group of 350 kids. Afterwards, Brassard got to be surrounded by ten other MoH recipients. They all shared stories about their families and being back home. They ended that evening with dinner at a local private club.

“They really welcomed my wife and I,” Brassard said. “They treated us like family, as if we have known each other forever.”

Saturday, the day of the gala, was filled with many fun things to do. Brassard was escorted to a car museum in the morning with the other CDP award winners and two MoH recipients. Unknown to them, there was a last minute filmed interview the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation wanted to do with the winners. Brassard shared his favorite lesson plans and shared some of his experiences meeting other MoH recipients in the past.

“For one of our Veterans Day assemblies, we had Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Joe Jackson speaking,” Brassard said.

Brassard was very thankful for the opportunity to meet 19 of the 72 living MoH recipients. They all thanked Brassard for being a teacher and keeping their stories alive in the way he teaches. They also thanked him for sharing the stories of those who are no longer with us, to keep them in memory.

“It was strange, all of these Medal of Honor recipients were excited to meet me,” Brassard said.

Brassard does keep all of the fallen MoH recipients with him in his heart. He has taken it upon himself to document their grave sites whenever he is travelling. So far, he has visited over 125 of our fallen MoH recipients. Brassard tells all of their brave actions to his students and others that he meets.

“It was a very humbling experience for me to meet all of them,” Brassard said.

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Medal of Honor: Brassard Wins Excellence in Character Education Award