BMS Foreign Language Teacher, Anna Etkin, Honored with VFW Award
Posted On:
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Anna Etkin & Eric Segundo
Anna Etkin & Eric Segundo

On November 10th Baird Middle School Foreign Language Teacher and Community Service Club Advisor, Anna Etkin, was honored by the Sgt. Joshua D. Desforges VFW Post 3236/Ludlow for her outstanding commitment to teach and promote Americanism, civic responsibility, flag etiquette, instilling national pride and patriotism in their classrooms. Etkin was nominated by BMS English Department Chair, Michelle D’Amore.

Eric Segundo, Director of Veterans Services for the Town of Ludlow, explains that this local recognition “is part of the annual Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award. The VFW annually recognizes the nation’s top classroom elementary, junior high and high school teachers who teach citizenship education topics for at least half of the school day in a classroom environment and promote America’s history, traditions and institutions effectively.” To learn more about this National Award click here.

In her nomination essay D’Amore noted, “As the Community Service Club advisor for the past several years, Mrs. Etkin has donated her time for the betterment of those less fortunate in her community and has been an inspiring role model for students in learning the power of citizens uniting in a common worthy cause. Mrs. Etkin has earned the respect of her supervisors, colleagues, students and families through her tireless commitment managing events such as food and clothing drives and helping underprivileged children.  In short, Mrs. Etkin exemplifies the selflessness and dedication to others that is the hallmark of our democratic society.”

“In addition to her commitment to teach civic responsibility, Mrs. Etkin's insistence on holding her students to a higher standard consistently results in impressive development for her students,” continued D’Amore.  “Her students learn to take responsibility for their own learning and actions as she instills in them the characteristics vital to being an honorable citizen of the United States.”

When learning of the award Etkin shared that her initial reaction was shock.  “This is a real honor for me.  Four of my uncles (now deceased) served in the armed forces during World War II.  While they all returned home safely, they did carry around some heavy baggage as a result.  Several of my aunts and uncles worked in the Springfield Armory.”  

Etkin explained that both of her parents grew up during the Great Depression.  “They knew first-hand what it is to go without many of the things we take for granted:  fresh fruit, good shoes, a warm coat of their own.  The American Red Cross provided gifts for my mother and her siblings on more than one Christmas because her parents could not afford such ‘luxuries’.

“These are some of the reasons I am motivated to serve as the advisor to Baird's Community Service Club,” continued Etkin.  “I share these and other stories with the club members and all of my students in an effort to help them understand how lucky most of us are today.  What I do pales in comparison with what our servicemen and women do, and have done for us, and all of the citizens of the United States.  As a recipient of this award, I am even more inspired to do my very best in the classroom and in the community."

“I could not have been more proud to be in the audience to see Mrs. Etkin receive this honor,” said Baird Middle School Principal, Stacy Monette.  “She is well deserving of this award because she gives so much to so many.”

On hand to give Etkin Certificates of Appreciation from the Senate and House of Representatives were State Senator Eric Lesser and Representative Thomas Petrolati.  Etkin also received a certificate from the VFW and a check for $100.00. Etkin will now advance to the state level competition which is the next step towards the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award.


Stacy Monette, BMS Principal, Anna Etkin, VFW Award Recipient, Michelle D'Amore, BMS English Department Chair 

Thank you to BMS English Teacher, Tina Gilbert, for sharing this video and photos of Mrs. Etkin receiving her award.

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