By Tamas Mondovics

Public schools throughout Hillsborough County have once again welcomed dozens of visiting speakers into their classrooms last month as part of the annual Great American Teach-In.

Benefiting both students and guests, the day-long event mobilizes the community by bringing hundreds of professionals and hobbyists into local schools while demonstrating the benefits of getting a good education.

Held on Thursday, November, 15, the Teach-In is presented by SERVE, the volunteer arm of the school district, as it brings volunteer speakers including active members and veterans of the United States Armed Forces; police, firefighters and paramedics; and animal trainers, attorneys, business professionals, chefs, elected officials, entrepreneurs, musicians, and School Board members.

Excited about a special visit by a Black Hawk helicopter of the 244 Air Assault Battalion out of Brooksville to her school, Nelson Elementary School Teacher Denise Hall spoke highly of the event and its importance benefiting the students, teachers and guests.

Black Hawk crew chief, Staff Sgt. Chris Scangarello did not hesitate to share his thoughts on taking the 12-minute trip to the school when he said, “We love to come out here and show the kids what we do. The children have a blast and we have a great time with them.”

Ten-year-old Grace Schweizer, whose father is currently stationed in Afghanistan, said that she was glad to have members of the military visiting her school.

While sitting at the controls of the air craft she said, “I was really excited when I heard that a Black Hawk was coming to our school, but it is just so much bigger than I thought. It makes me think about what my daddy is doing while away.”

As for the benefit of the program there is little doubt. According to Hillsborough County public Schools officials the  program continues to be one of the most welcomed and anticipated events of the year.  For more information about the Great American Teach-In please visit the


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