By: Tammy Curtis, Managing Editor
U.S. Congressman Rick Crawford made a special presentation to the Cherokee Elementary School on April 14 to a crowd of fourth graders and the community. In honor of the recent renovations, the flag pole was replaced and Crawford presented a flag that has flown over the U.S. Capitol as the first to be hoisted to wave proudly over the school. Cherokee Village Elementary School opened their doors in 1967 and last year, 45 years later ,underwent a massive facelift including the new covered canopy out front that serves as a beacon and welcome to the school. The placement of construction materials and equipment on the area forced the flagpole to betaken down temporarily. Dick Sackett, Retired Air Force Colonel and Commander of the American Legion Post346 served as the ceremony’s Master of Ceremonies. He welcomed local dignitaries including Arkansas District Two Representative Trey Steimel, Highland May-or Kyle Crawford, Ash Flat Mayor Larry Fowler and Hardy Mayor Ethan Barnes to the service as well as school representatives and Fulton County Judge and former Veteran Service Officer Kenneth Crow. Students and attendees recited the pledge before the VFW Post4772 and American Legion, DAV Chapter 55,Purple Heart Association and American Color guard presented the colors and patriotic mu-sic was sang by Darlene Karvelius before Craw-ford was introduced. District 1 United States Representative Rick Crawford of Jonesboro hailed from an Air Force family and enlisted in the Army after his high school graduation. Crawford served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, completing four years of service and advancing to the rank of Sergeant. He earned numerous medals for service at home and in Southwest Asia. After completion of his military service, Rick graduated from Arkansas State University in1996 with a degree in Agriculture Business and Economics. He has been serving the public in his capacity as a U.S. Representative since 2010. Crawford is a senior member on the House Agriculture Committee, having played a critical role in passing two Farm Bills. Crawford presented the flag to the district and complimented them on their school before the color guard hoisted the flag to the top of the pole. Fourth graders were the first to see the new flag’s placement. Besides the new front entry that keeps students dry during pick-up and drop-off at the school, Cherokee Elementary’s campus also received new energy efficient windows, a new roof and siding on the outside. On the inside, the campus is still undergoing construction on a complete new cafeteria. The expansion will move the stage to the south end and create a new kitchen to better accommodate the work-space needed. The inside has all been repainted and new flooring installed. A reception was hosted after the flag raising ceremony with tours of the school provided by members of the school administration.