Soldier surprises Logan Elementary students with classroom visit


Soldier surprises Logan Elementary students with classroom visit
U.S. Army Specialist Joe Lazzaro surprised Grade 3 students at Logan Elementary with a visit Dec. 19. Sabrina Hergenroeder, his sister, is the classroom teacher. Photos courtesy of Jill Bender.

DUNDALK -- It was a top-secret operation for U.S. Army Specialist Joe Lazzaro.

The mission: Visit Logan Elementary. Find his sister's classroom. Then surprise both her, and her students, with an early holiday visit home.

With the support of Logan Elementary Principal Jill Bender, he was able to pull it off.

Understandably, there were tears.

"It was a great moment to be part of," Bender said. "The teacher was not the only one with moist eyes."

Elementary school teachers throughout BCPS enlist pen pals from all over the world to help students build writing skills. It's an excellent way for students to accomplish literacy in the key life skills of reading and writing. No matter what path they choose, they will need to excel at both.

This year, Mrs. Hergenroeder's students have been trading letters with Specialist Lazzaro. So when he walked past the giant H at their classroom entrance, students immediately knew who he was.

Classroom visit
U.S. Army Specialist Joe Lazzaro completes push-ups during a surprise holiday visit to his sister's classroom at Logan Elementary.

Once a sibling hug was shared, Specialist Lazzaro visited with students and shared the basics (pun intended) of Army training.

Next year, Lazzaro will be deployed, likely far away from his friends and family. But those letters can keep coming. From the Logan Elementary students. From his sister. And everyone will benefit.

To Specialist Lazzaro and all those serving our country from Team BCPS, a sincere thank you and best wishes for the holiday season.

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