An elementary school student recites the school song during an opening ceremony at Edward C. Killin Elementary School, Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, Aug. 26, 2019. The ceremony was held to welcome students and faculty back after a ten-week-long summer break. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Krysten I. Houk)
An elementary school student recites the school song during an opening ceremony at Edward C. Killin Elementary School, Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, Aug. 26, 2019. The ceremony was held to welcome students and faculty back after a ten-week-long summer break. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Krysten I. Houk)

Summer vacation ends and school begins at Edward C. Killin Elementary School

by Lance Cpl. Krysten Houk
Marine Corps Installations Pacific

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan – Edward C. Killin Elementary School faculty welcomed students and their families back for the first day of school, August 26 on Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan.

After a ten-week-long summer break, school commenced, bringing in students ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade.

“We have a tradition where we call the youngest and oldest student to help us “gong” in the school year,” said Dr. Kendra White, principal at E. C. Killin. She said the gongs used for the annual ceremony symbolize the beginning of a new school year.

The event included students singing the old and new school song, learning about leadership as well as reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Distinguished guests including Col. Vincent J. Ciuccoli, commanding officer of Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler attended the ceremony and gave some encouraging words to the entire student body.

“If you need somebody to help you, ask for help and if you find things aren’t working out, go ahead and try again,” said Ciuccoli, who also serves as the base commander for Camp Foster.

E. C. Killin elementary is part of the Department of Defense dependent schools, DoDDS, which are the overseas schools on military bases world-wide. Killin elementary's mission is to work with all students to be successful as well as work to prepare them with 21st century skills.

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