Home of Heroes
Fort Polk Progress, as part of its Education Initiative, recognizes 11-year-old, Sarah Kennison, a fifth grader at Vernon Middle School in Leesville, as the Vernon Parish School District’s 2014 Elementary Student of the Year.
Sarah has a perfect 4.0 grade point average and at an early age exemplifies the pursuit of excellence.
Sarah, is the daughter of U.S. Army Sergeant First Class William Kennison and Jennifer, who are stationed at nearby Fort Polk. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Sarah will be in Leesville for one more year. She is typical of Army children who follow their parents from post to post. Besides Ohio and Louisiana, she has also lived in South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee. However the constant travel has not deterred Sarah. She has concrete plans for her future.
Sarah is involved in many school activities including the Math Olympiad, Students Against Disruptive Decisions (SADD) and Future Leaders of America.
'We try to help people in Africa and talk about going down the right path in life,' she said about her involvement with the Future Leaders program. 'I like helping people.'
Besides her work with several student clubs on campus, Sarah is also a budding musician. She learned to play the piano last year and began taking clarinet lessons this year. She also enjoys reading and the triathlon.
Her favorite subjects in school are English language arts (ELA) and mathematics.
Sarah said she is interested in 'lots of things' but wants to be a doctor. 'I want to help with cancer research. I like seeing people get better.'
Sarah is motivated by her parents, but she also understands that she has to be prepared to compete in an ever changing global economy.
'I want to be able to get into a good college. I want to be successful when I grow up. I am intentionally good in school and my parents expect it from me.'
After 25 years of total service, Lieutenant Colonel Ed Williams retired from the US Army in 2011. His career concluded at Fort Polk as the Chief of Staff of JRTC and Ft. Polk and the Installation Command Inspector General. He is currently employed by Cubic Applications as an instructor at the Joint Readiness Training Center’s Leader Training Program. He is currently the Chairman for the Military Affairs Committee for the Greater Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce a life member of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and has received numerous awards and decorations, including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and five Meritorious Service Medals.