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Posted: August 31, 2017 11:52 a.m.
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Diamond Elementary shows off ‘shiny’ new building

Staff Sgt. Sierra A. Melendez/

Dr. Christy Huddleson, Department of Defense Education Activity Americas Southeast District Superintendent; Col. Jason A. Wolter, Fort Stewart garrison commander; Nathanial Aguilar, Diamond Elementary student; Kathleen Reiss, DoDEA Americas South Carolina/Fort Stewart community superintendent; Shalayah Dukes, Diamond Elementary student; Scott Evers, great nephew of Pfc. James H. Diamond; Kelly Strozier, great niece of Pfc. James H. Diamond; and Jarrod Gruber, great-great nephew of Pfc. James ...

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The ground breaking for the facility began May of 2011 and features energy and environmentally sustainable capabilities, solar panel installation and is completely lit utilizing light emitting diode (LED) lighting. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers played an integral role in the construction of the building.

The Department of Defense Education Activity school opened its’ doors to students for the 2017-2018 academic year earlier in the month. The ribbon cutting ceremony marked the official opening to the public, providing an opportunity for stakeholders and community leaders to take a tour of the cutting-edge facility.

Col. Jason A. Wolter, Fort Stewart garrison commander, addressed the auditorium filled with the ‘Diamond Gator’ students and faculty. Wolter has a child who attends the school and spoke on the benefits of being in the student body of a DoD-ran school.

“You are part of 72,000 other kids and this is one of 166 different schools in 11 different countries,” said Wolter. “And you may not know this but being a DoDEA student – a gator student – means that your math and reading scores will be some of the top in the nation. Being in a DoDEA school means your high school graduation rate will be higher than the rest of the country, and you will have a greater chance at attending college.”

Wolter wrapped up by expressing gratitude to the teachers of Diamond Elementary, an all too often thankless job.

“You are the glue that holds this all together,” said Wolter.

The school was named after Pfc. James H. Diamond, a 24th Infantry Division Soldier who was killed in action while trying to save the lives of his comrades in the Philippines in 1945. Diamond was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his valiant and intrepid actions. 

Diamond’s great niece, Kelly Strozier, and great nephews Scott Evers and Jarrod Gruber, were present for the ceremony and boasted on the warm welcome they were given by the Marne division.

 

“It’s great to see how the service continues to put family first,” said Evers. “He [Diamond] would absolutely be amazed by this facility. He continues to make an impact so long after his death, and it’s comforting to see he isn’t forgotten.”


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