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Johnston, Lewis given Patriot Awards for support of deployed teacher

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Surprise ceremony held at elementary school

By Kelly Cantrall

Two Hardin County Schools officials have been recognized Wednesday for supporting the military.

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Nannette Johnston, superintendent of Hardin County Schools, and Jennifer Lewis, principal of Lincoln Trail Elementary School, received Patriot Awards on Wednesday from the National Committee For Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve at a surprise ceremony at Lincoln Trail.

Johnston and Lewis were nominated by Lt. Col. Andrea Meyer, a teacher at Lincoln Trail who is deployed to Kuwait. Both Johnston and Lewis thought they were gathering to honor Meyer with an award.

Meyer spoke to students and staff via Skype and left Johnston and Lewis stunned after she revealed the real reason for the gathering.

“I don’t really know where to start,” Lewis said, looking through the itinerary, “I’m kind of lost in my program now.”

Isa Semper, a volunteer with the Employer Support committee, presented certificates to Johnston and Lewis.

Lewis thanked Meyer for the honor and recognized her family, which was in attendance. She said later her support for the military was instilled in her by her parents, whom she spoke of during the assembly.

“Pretty much everything I needed to know, I learned at the kitchen table” with her parents, she said.

Johnston said she was proud of Meyer and thanked her for her service.

“You are the one who needs this Patriot Award,” she said.

Meyer in return thanked everyone for their support while she’s been deployed.

“It’s made it a whole lot better, it has,” she said.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.