Gravely Elementary Celebrates 10th Anniversary

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Provided by Prince William County Schools

Samuel L. Gravely Jr. Elementary School marked its tenth anniversary with a special ceremony that celebrated the achievement as a School of Excellence for the eighth time. The school opened in 2008 and is named in honor of the late Admiral Samuel L. Gravely Jr., who was the first African-American to command a U.S. Navy warship and the first African-American to earn the rank of vice admiral and command a U.S. fleet.

Principal Michael Kelchlin and Assistant Principal Alyse Zeffiro, along with current staff members and students, gathered for an assembly and were joined by special guests including former Gravely staff, students, and families. Superintendent Dr. Steve Walts, Associate Superintendent for Western Elementary Schools Mrs. Jarcelynn Hart, and Gainesville District School Board Representative Mrs. Alyson Satterwhite also attended.

In Seadog tradition, the participants sang “One Nation.” Principal Kelchlin then shared a gift presented to the school by Command Master Chief Larae Baker of the USS Gravely (DDG 107). The gift was a five-foot casing round that was fired on July 4, 2016, while the USS Gravely and crew were deployed. The Seadogs themselves presented a gift to Mrs. Alma Gravely, the widow of Admiral Gravely, to show their appreciation of her dedication to the school. The token was delivered to her, since she was unable to attend.

The SeaDogs led up to the tenth anniversary ceremony with a Spirit Week that highlighted the school’s motto (SUCCESS = EDUCATION + MOTIVATION + PERSEVERANCE). Students and staff members dressed for school in workout attire to show their motivation, hats to demonstrate perseverance by keeping their head in the game, and education by donning gear representing future career and life aspirations. Each grade level also decorated a ceiling tile for placement in the hallway of the school outside of the library to commemorate what makes Gravely excellent.


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