Veterans Day Interview


Natalia Golash

Social studies teacher Chris Bays speaks at the celebration for Veterans Day.

Morgan Anderson, Copy editor

Interview with Christopher D. Bays, Instructional Coach, Social Studies Teacher, Freshmen Girls Basketball Coach

Q: Do you have a full list of the PHS staff who are veterans and which area (marine, navy, ect.) they’re classified as?

A: Here is what I know for sure:

Patrick Noote – U.S. Air Fore
Brooke Arvia – U.S. Air Force
Isaac Horner – Army National Guard
Mark Hibner – Army National Guard
Brenda Moreno – U.S. Army
Chuck Maze – U.S. Army
Oscar Flores – U.S. Marine Corps
Jeff Manz – U.S. Marine Corps

Q: Who and when did they come up with the idea of doing the Veteran’s Day program?

A: The Social Studies Club had done a similar program three years ago, but we didn’t have Veterans Day as a school day then. With the Nov. 11 being a weekday and now a school day it was the right thing to do. We asked Mr. Sivak again to participate and this sort of thing is important to him. He said yes without hesitation.

Q: What impact do you think this has upon our students?

A: I think every student is touched in a different way by a day like this. Some students inherently are more connected because they have family members who are or have been in the service. It is my hope that it creates an attitude of deep appreciation for those who served by the student who is not connected to the military by family.

Q: Do you believe that students are as aware of veterans’ impact on their lives today as they should be?

A: Ten years ago, in the wake of Sept. 11, I would have said yes, but now that students in high school were too young to recall the events I think some of the awareness has faded. Our country has been in military engagements since they have been born basically, so I hope that students today can realize that these veterans are sacrificing time from their families and from their educations to make sure our country’s interests are protected.

Q: Do you think that this Veterans Day Program went well and should be done next year as well? And if it is done next year, what do you think could be changed to improve or what would be kept the same?

A: I think this year’s program went very well. I would say it would be a good idea to do it next year, but it would have to be changed a bit in its format. Ideally, more students can be reached in a Veteran’s Day Program. Maybe a full school activity in the gym would be one way to go in the future.

Q: Do you have any idea to the approximate number of former Palatine High School grads are actively serving in the military? Or their names?

A: I am unaware if how many and who from PHS is currently serving, but I know there are many. The district is looking to get this information.

Q: And any other information you can think of that is helpful or would be necessary for our students to know?

A: The students were very respectful and attentive during the program. We didn’t notice students on phones or iPads, which speaks to the importance of the day and the receptiveness of the student body. Mrs. Hamman and I also appreciate the Social Studies Club for putting this together very quickly, Ms. Rose Wilson in the main office for her help with putting it together, and for all the students who contributed stars to the banners outside the auditorium – we received more than we could handle and tried to do our best to honor those veterans they care about. We have an amazing school here and it is times like this it really shows.