GREENVILLE – Greenville VFW Post 7262 selected Chief Stephen Eldred, the naval science instructor for the Greenville Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, the Green Wave Navy, as its Teacher of the Year.
The VFW Teacher of the Year award contest recognizes exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students. Each year a classroom elementary, junior high and high school teacher whose curriculum focuses on citizenship education topics – for at least half of the school day in a classroom environment – can be nominated for the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award.
Chief Eldred has been the naval science instructor at Greenville Senior High School since April of 2014. He has made himself a vital tool of the high school. He teaches his cadets and even other students of the high school what it really means to be an American. He talks to every one of his cadets about the Constitution and how the government affects lives daily.
He is a role model for discipline and respect for the whole school to follow. He instills basic manners into his cadets that many youth today have lost. He teaches respect to others and has an open door to all students in the high school, not just those that take his class. This has given many kids the opportunity to talk to someone besides the administrators.
He has increased the unit’s involvement with in the community. In the 2017-18 school year, the Green Wave Navy volunteered to more than 3,400 hours of community service. His leadership and demonstration of giving back to the community is something for all to follow. He has gotten the Green Wave Navy Color Guard involved in presenting the colors for school sporting events, local parades, as well as professional sports teams to include the Cincinnati Reds, Columbus Blue Jackets and the Dayton Dragons.
He has been instrumental in the growth of the NJROTC Unit. He has increased its enrollment numbers from 80 to more than 105 in the three years he has been at Greenville.
During his tenure, Eldred has been instrumental in the unit’s ability to go from being unranked to one of the top units in Ohio and the country. For the 2016-17 school year, the Green Wave Navy was recognized as the most improved unit in Area 3 along with receiving the NJROTC Unit Achievement Award. Area 3 now consists of 54 schools from West Virginia to Nebraska and Kentucky to Michigan.
For the most recent school year (2017-18), the unit was recognized as a Distinguished Unit with honors (the highest unit award offered to a NJROTC unit). Greenville was one of only two schools in the state of Ohio to receive this award and it is awarded to only the top 20 percent nationally.
His name will now be submitted for district-level judging. From there, if he is selected it will then be forwarded to the department-level (state-level). If selected at the state level, he will then be passed along to VFW National Headquarters for consideration in the national awards contest.