Saturday, July 17, 2010

National NEED Ceremony, Washington D.C.

Wow! I couldn't have taken a better group of students to Washington, D.C.!! We had a great time. I have added captions under most pictures to explain, and hopefully you feel like you have been to Washington after you view this slideshow!
We had a great time, but it was very rushed due to the tight scheduling of events. NEED did an excellent job organizing activities and overall event coordination! We had great activities, and the free touring passes made life easier (no long lines waiting for metro passes).
We left on Thursday night about 12:00 from Arby's in Russell Springs. I drove (with a couple of stops) until about 3:00 a.m. We stopped so I could power nap for about an hour and a half. Then we resumed the trip until breakfast at Cracker Barrel! Here is where the students got a lesson on gratuity. After the little lesson, everyone returned to the table and left at least one dollar. Then we were back in the van...D.C bound!
We arrived in D.C about 3:00 p.m. We immediately checked into our rooms and got ready for dinner at 5:00. After dinner and some introductory games (I had a teacher meeting about the new face of NEED lessons and met with the creative director of NEED), we headed to the Metro to tour the Memorials and Monuments because this was really the only free night we had and night-time touring of the monuments is best!

Breakfast was at 8:00 Saturday morning. We were pooped! However, we drug ourselves upstairs after breakfast and caught a shuttle from the hotel to the Metro subway. Once the touring began, adrenaline took over and everyone felt excited to be in our Nation's capitol! We knew that we wanted to see the Holocaust Museum, so this was our first stop after the Tourmobile ride.
We had a wonderful day and then went back to the hotel to get ready for the Parade of States Dinner and dancing afterwards! During this time we ate, then exchanged "trinkets" from our state with other states. Thank you to the Governor's office, especially Carla Arnold, Diane Andrews, and Sandy Simpson. Also Thank You to Whit Pennington for bringing some unexpected trinkets!! See slideshow below for some "active" pictures!

Sunday was more touring. We headed to the Museum of Natural History! We couldn't help but think of the movie, Night at the Museum! We ate lunch there and then toured the Air and Space Museum where we saw a 3-D IMAX movie on the Hubble Space Station. These museums were perfect for all ages. They were so educational and had a lot of hands on demonstrations. I wish we had all day to spend here! But, we had to head back to the hotel to get ready for a dinner cruise on the Potomac River...Hawaiian Style! The food was great and then there was more dancing! The kids found out Mrs. Spoon has a few moves! It was really fun having fun with my students, not just instructing.

Monday was the final day, and the reason for the trip actually...the Award!! I was going to have Connor go up and take our picture, but 2 minutes before we were called up my memory card was loaded! When you watch the slideshow, you'll see why:) The ceremony was held at the Department of the Interior, and there was the official presentation of colors and everything. We all felt really important!

After the ceremony, we had a Capitol tour scheduled! Some students were starving, including Connor! So they went on over to the Capitol and had lunch. A few of us went to meet with Senator Mitch McConnell's energy representative. We had questions concerning education, state legislation to give tax incentives at the state level, and of course we talked alot about the Academy and just our existence! They were very impressed. We all met up for the tour. It was rather short and sweet, but the architecture alone was amazing! We had an excellent tour guide. He used to be a professor of history at a college, so he had a lot of neat facts to share!

After the tour, we headed to Rep. Ed Whitfield's office to meet with his Energy Representative. It was here that JD Coomer proclaimed that he was interested in an internship in Whitfield's office. He got to meet a current intern and I am going to do everything I can to try to help him reach his dream! He has to stay focused on Energy, of course!!! Jason Davis loved the NEED Conference so much, he wants to go back next year and be part of the NEED staff! These two guys learned a lot about themselves on this trip! That's what it's all about!

We went back to the hotel, changed clothes in the restroom, and headed back for home. We stopped at Ruby Tuesday's for one last dinner together. I had to get another power nap about 3:00 a.m. I couldn't risk so many lives with my need for sleep! They graciously gave me the van and woke me up about 4:30 and we headed home. We got back about 8:00 a.m.! We were all glad to see "home"!

Our trip would not have been possible without the following sponsors/friends of the Academy: Thank you so much!! I have tried to remember all donors. If I left anyone out, it is not deliberate and I apologize! Thank you again!!

Dr. Phil Aaron
Adair County Board of Education
Adair County Substance Abuse Coalition
Mr. and Mrs. Larry R. Bryant
County Judge Executive Office, Ann Melton
Mike and Wanda Hatcher
Leo and Donna Kislan
Majestic Yachts
Nation's Medicines
Rollin Pyles
Mr. Gary Cox
Mr. Mason Dyer
Mr. Michael Azzara
Several Anonymous Donors (car wash fundraiser)

Enjoy the slideshow!

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