Sign of Respect: American flag flown at embassy to honor Green Forest Elementary

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Principal Danette Chaney accepts a United States flag from Mike and Corey Zimmerman. Mike arranged to have the flag flown over the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on April 6, 2018, in honor of Green Forest Elementary School.
Photo by Tavi Ellis/Carroll County News

The care Green Forest Elementary School shows its students is getting recognized across the world.

Green Forest native Mike Zimmerman was working as a contractor as part of a security force at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, and arranged for a United States flag to be flown in honor of Green Forest Elementary School on April 6, 2018. He then donated the flag to the elementary school, which is now displayed in front of the main office.

Zimmerman said he wanted to have the flag flown to recognize the great community in Green Forest and the dedication of the elementary school staff.

“All four of my kids have gone through here,” he said. “I love the community. The schools are wonderful. It’s never felt just like parent-teacher relationships. Everybody knows everybody. They’re always going out of their way to tell you about your kids, even if it’s not related to school.”

Elementary principal Danette Chaney said receiving the flag was an honor.

“It’s a great honor for the flag to be flown for our school,” she said, “and the biggest honor is for our school to be recognized in Afghanistan at the embassy. With our school’s background with Tommy Ratzlaff and Michael Goins being part of our school district, it kind of ties it all together. It’s a very nice honor.”

Ratzlaff and Goins were military service members who were killed overseas.

Zimmerman said few communities are as tight-knit as Green Forest.

“I grew up a Navy brat, so we always lived in huge cities,” he said. “Nobody knew who your brothers and sisters were or who your parents were. You were just another number. Every time we sit down here, the teachers are like ‘Addyson is just like Cheyenne.’ ”

“This is my hometown, and I went to school here from kindergarten to 12th grade,” Chaney said. “I think that’s what it’s all about. It’s about bringing the community into the school.”

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