LSMSA recognizes Veterans, teacher receives commendation


The Student Government Organization at LSMSA held a Veterans Day Program Nov. 10. An abridged version of a documentary that premiered in 2011 was shown at the program. Part of an oral history project, the film featured several WWII Veterans who grew up in Natchitoches and Northeast Louisiana.

Kent Laborde, a member of the Class of 1987, delivered the keynote address. He earned a B.A. from the Louisiana Scholars’ College at NSU in 1991 and an M.A. from the University of Maryland in 2008. LSMSA SGO President Varun Amin introduced Laborde and welcomed guests to the program.

“Veterans are the service members who have completed their time in service and are adding their experience and expertise to improving civilian society,” said Laborde. “They bring with them the same self-sacrifice, dedication to public service and desire to contribute to the greater food that brought them to the military in the first place.”

Veterans in the audience were recognized alongside five Veterans that were introduced by LSMSA students. They were Cpt. (retired) David Zolzer, U.S. Air Force; Cpt. Trent Friedel, U.S. Navy Reserve; Flotilla Commander Robert Baker, U.S. Coast Guard; Col. (retired) Frank R. Hall, U.S. Army; and Corporal Mark O. Melder, U.S. Marine Corps.

A special recognition occurred during the program when Executive Director Steve Horton presented teacher David Zolzer with a commendation for exceptional teaching from Stanford University as part of its Teacher Tribute Initiative. He was nominated as an outstanding educator by Vy Mai, a member of last year’s graduating class at LSMSA.

Ending the evening, Milan Arvpino and Dr. Charles Jones performed a rendition of “America the Beautiful.”