Local Charter School Makes Honoring Veterans High Priority


November 7, 2022

Great Hearts Forest Heights Honors 40 Veterans from Four Different Branches

SAN ANTONIO, Texas– Great Hearts Forest Heights will host a ceremony on Friday, November 11 at 8:30 a.m. honoring the military veterans of its community. Founded in 2019, Great Hearts Forest Heights is a public classical charter school that currently serves 1,100 students in the northwest part of San Antonio. Continuing a tradition that the school established several years ago, Great Hearts Forest Heights has invited veterans from their community to come to campus to be honored by their faculty and students. This year forty veterans plan to attend from four different branches. The school will provide breakfast for the veterans as well as honor them with a public reading of their names during the ceremony.

Headmaster Jennifer Ramirez, an army veteran herself, expressed great excitement about being able to both honor the military members of the school’s community and continue to foster a partnership with the military in San Antonio. The school currently employs six veterans and has thirty students whose parents serve in the Armed Forces. “There is a commonality between the values of Great Hearts, character, order, structure, that aligns well with what people in the military seek for their own families,” said Ramirez.

The ceremony itself will be attended by all of the students and faculty of the school and will feature several of Great Hearts Forest Heights’ students. Elementary aged scholars will lead the school in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Texas Pledge, and a moment of silence, while a middle school choir, led by the Dean of Students, Ms. Tkacik, will perform the National Anthem. Additionally, the ninth graders will be responsible for the reading of the veterans’ names. The keynote speaker for this year’s ceremony will be U.S. Army Col. (Ret) Pauline Gross.
In addition to honoring veterans at this ceremony, the students of Great Hearts Forest Heights dedicated time in recent weeks to writing letters to veterans in South Texas who reside in assisted living facilities. Partnering with VITAS Healthcare, a company who serves veterans in hospice and care facilities, the veterans in attendance at the ceremony will receive letters of gratitude from the students along with a small gift. VITAS has also arranged for a bugler to play “Taps” at the ceremony.

“I’m hoping the students come away with a feeling about what it means to serve something bigger than yourself,” said Ramirez when asked why Great Hearts Forest Heights has chosen to spotlight Veteran’s Day. She continued, “Service is something that Great Hearts tries to instill in its students, so it’s important to put people who have served at this higher level at the forefront, not only to express our gratitude, but to serve as examples for our students about what it really means to look at humankind over their own personal stake in the world.”

Great Hearts Forest Heights’ Veterans Day ceremony is just one example of Great Hearts’ commitment to the military community. Recently, Great Hearts has become the first K-12 institution to partner with the Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership, an organization which works to connect military spouses with employers that are actively seeking to hire qualified spouses.

To learn more about Great Hearts, visit forestheights.greatheartsamerica.org. Great Hearts is accepting applications for the current school year and will begin its open enrollment process for the 2023-2024 school year on November 7.

About Great Hearts Forest Heights
Great Hearts Forest Heights is a public classical charter school currently serving 1,100 students in grades K-9 in the northwest part of San Antonio, with plans to continue expanding each year until it becomes a full K-12 school in 2025. It is part of the Great Hearts Texas charter district, a nonprofit network of tuition-free public charter schools dedicated to improving education statewide through classical preparatory K-12 academies. Great Hearts Texas is the fastest growing A-Rated charter network in Texas and is accepting applications for the 2023-24 school starting November 7th through December 9th. Learn more at www.forestheights.greatheartsamerica.org .