Coffee County Central High School was awarded the National Veterans of Foreign Wars’ top high school in Tennessee.

VFW Kimberly King explained that the Smart/Maher Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Citizenship Education Award was given in “recognition of Coffee County Central High School being selected the state school winner in the high school category.  The VFW recognizes the value of citizenship education as well as the teaching of American values and morals.  Today both the teacher and the school were awarded for their tireless efforts from National Veterans of Foreign Wars.”

The award follows a faculty member who was named VFW Department of Tennessee Teacher of the Year, High School category.

King said that “The school has been a strong supporter of Becki Louden, the school's culinary school teacher, and VFW Post 10904 Post member.  Mrs. Louden has organized and coordinated over 50 community events, as well as numerous programs to educate students on the value of our country and veterans.  

“Part of your receiving this award was the support you gave Mrs. (Becki) Louden,” VFW Commander Kimberly King said as she presented the school with a plaque Tuesday.

Louden was named state VFW teacher of the year due in part to the dedication she shows and shares with her culinary students in reaching out to area veterans.

Principal Paul Parsley noted that her support of veterans and first responders include participation of each veteran event and parade, in addition to holding several free community meals which the students planned and prepared and, during the height of the shutdown, offering safely a take and bake pizza giveaway for veterans.

“Mrs. Louden is a veteran herself and I know that that is something that is very near and dear to her,” Parsley said. “Through these activities…our students are learning to have that same mindset as she has. Hopefully that will affect them throughout their lives.” 

Louden was appreciative of the support that the school and her colleagues have provided.   

“It was teamwork. My teacher partner Angela Neal, EA’s Tina Keele, Jackie Vaughn and Tara Mabe and our amazing students. Also, we have awesome patriotic administrators in our school and our central office that always highly support all veterans and 1st responder community activities and we really appreciate that so much,” Louden said.

“This is all teamwork we all enjoy working together giving a blessing to others,” Louden said.

Also speaking at the event were Hans Hooker, VFW Post 10904 Chaplain, Perry Louden, Becki's husband, and Post member and Virginia Hooker, VFW Post 10904 Auxiliary. 

John has been with the Manchester Times since May 2011. He covers Lifestyles in addition to handling education reporting and general news assignments.John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories. John is a 1994 graduate of Tullahoma High School, a graduate of Motlow State Community College and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Middle Tennessee State University. He lives in Tullahoma, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife, Mitsy, and his 17-month-old, Sean.

Staff Writer

Download the free Manchester Times mobile app at the app store. John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories.

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