School Honors Godwin

NAVAIR PATUXENT RIVER, MD—Recognized for his outstanding support of a Navy-education partnership program, NAVAIR’s program executive officer for Tactical Aircraft Programs received an award during commencement ceremonies at Leonard Hall Junior Naval Academy. Neale Slater, battalion commander at Leonard Hall presented the award May 31 to Rear Adm. James Godwin.

“I wish to present an award of appreciation to an individual who has provided immense and constant support to our school,” Slater said. “This individual has led a group of volunteers for three years in assisting our school through the partnership in education program. On a personal note, he is someone who I admire because of his dedication and hard work.”

During the past three years, Godwin has given strong support for PEO(T)’s partnership with Leonard Hall Junior Naval Academy. PEO(T) volunteers have provided bi-weekly tutoring at the school, assisted with the school’s military program and supported a wide range of special projects such as sponsoring uniform drives, hosting quarterly drill inspections, providing character education lectures and wiring the school for the Internet.

“Every year, Rear Adm. Godwin and PEO(T) volunteers put so much time and effort into our school,” said Suzanne Youngson, Leonard Hall headmistress. “Their contributions tremendously benefit our school and our students.”

In addition to receiving an award, PEO(T) also sponsored the battalion director’s Man in the Arena Award, which recognizes a student who struggles valiantly in spite of limitations and frustrations. The award was presented to Midshipman David Bentley by retired Navy Capt. Dave Mozgala, the school’s battalion director.

Mozgala read a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt, which is inscribed on the award: “It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena ....”

At the May 31 event, Leonard Hall midshipmen also received promotions in a change-of-command ceremony. Graduating senior Slater received numerous awards, including Midshipman-of-the-Year, and conferred the rank of battalion commander to incoming senior Michelle Kempf. Among the many academic honors presented, graduating senior Amy Nicole Pilkerton was named valedictorian of the class of 2003.

Delivering the commencement address was Vice Adm. Richard J. Naughton, who recently resigned as superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy.

“We don’t know what you’re going to do, but we know it will be important,” Naughton said. “The discipline and structure you’ve learned here will serve you well as you go forth into the world.”

Youngson also offered words of encouragement to the new graduates.

“Utilize what you have learned here and make us proud,” Youngson said. “Always keep in mind this old adage: ‘A ship in a harbor is safe - but that is not what ships were built for,’” she said. “Go for it. You have nothing to lose.”
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