November 16, 2009 Rotogram


This week we begin our year’s recognition of outstanding students and teachers from Starkville and Oktibbeha County.


When we left 2nd Lieutenant “Fireball” Hazard last week, he was heading into France from the Normandy beachhead. This week he completes his World War II story with the Battle of the Bulge.


The Mississippi Children’s Museum, under construction at LeFleur’s Bluff State Park in Jackson  is next week’s topic. The $24.5 million museum is scheduled to be completed in Fall 2010.  Our guests will be Charlotte Seals, assistant superintendent for Madison County Public Schools, and Lindsay Buford of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce.


Our newly sponsored Interact Club will be introduced to the Club in a chartering ceremony next week.


Invocation and Pledge: Frank Chiles
Attendance: There were 111 members (35 exempt, 1 honorary) present and 81 (14 exempt, 11 honorary) absent.
Makeups reported: Larry Mullins in Columbus, and Rex Buffington and Frank Childs in West Point.
Guests and visitors: Visiting Rotarian was Bill Overstreet of West Point. Member’s guests were Bob Mooneyham of Buddy Staggers, Mark Duncan of Briar Jones, Sharon Breckenridge of Trey Breckenridge, and Mary Ann Arnold, Dr. T. N. Braddock, Dwight Dyess, Frances Oakley and Warren Oakley of  John Robert Arnold. Guests of the Club were Kasper Eriksen and Francesa Scaravelli, Youth Exchange students; Amy Ellis, Sudduth Elementary teacher; Lisa Thompson Sudduth Elementary assistant principal; Tina Scholtes, MSU education professor; Carrie Hawkins, wife of Past President and District Governor Merrill Hawkins; Mark Hazard, son of the speaker; and, Sara Hazard, wife of the speaker.
Makeups reported: Gary D. Jackson  in Winona and Kosciusko, and Larry Mullins at a board meeting.
Kudos: President Martha asked all of our military veterans to stand and be recognized in honor of their service during Veteran’s Day week.
She noted Nancy Hargrove’s “hard summers” in Paris that culminated in the new book T.S. Eliot’s Parisian Year.
She also commended Ron Brown for his national award for work with eXtension, the new Cooperative Extension interactive, Web-based knowledge system.
Andy Gaston was complimented for his Award of Excellence conferred at the Starkville Area Arts Council Gala.



In World War II, the 79th U.S. Infantry Division lost 24,000 of its 6,000 frontline troops.
The harsh mathematics of war were explained to us by Dr. Mark Hazard, retired West Point veterinarian and author of World War II as I Remember.
Noting that an infantry division has 15,000 soldiers of which 6,000 are on the front lines fighting, Hazard explained that every night each unit received three things — rations, ammo and men to replace those wounded or killed in action.
As a second lieutenant, the Mississippi State College ROTC graduate, was on those front lines as Allied forces pushed toward Germany after D-Day.
Hazard was among a group of 65 State College students who signed up for advanced ROTC to get commissions. In that group were John Robert Arnold, who introduced Hazard to the Club, and several of his guests. Before they could complete their college training, they were called up as privates.
He recounted the main point his officer candidate school instructors at Ft. Benning impressed on them was that three things are “absolutely expendable” — rations, ammo and infantry platoon leaders.
“They didn’t sugar-coat it at all,” said Hazard. “You’re going to get killed and you might as well know it right now.”
After the war, statistics showed that the average time a platoon leader served in combat was 17 days before he was wounded or killed.
Illuminating the severity of the war he described his rapid deployment. Within 15 days of leaving the New York City harbor on board a troop ship, he was looking across Normandy at graves “as far as you could see.”
“We knew exactly what our tour of duty was,” he said. “You keep fighting until Germany unconditionally surrenders.”
“Our unit went for more than a month without ever taking our clothes off, without ever getting under a roof, or without warm food,” said Hazard. “We were ugly when we came out.”
“Evidently we were pretty good shots,” he said. “The U.S. lost 500,000 killed; the Germans lost 3.25 million; the Japanese lost 1.5 million; and the Russians lost 8 million.”

Amy Ellis receives the Merrill Hawkins Excellence in Education award from Carrie Hawkins, retired Starkville Public Schools teacher, and Rex Buffington, past-award committee chair. Hawkins is the wife of the late Dean Hawkins of MSU’s College of Education who also served as local Rotary president and district governor.


The fifth annual Merrill Hawkins Excellence in Education award was presented to Amy Ellis, a 16-year Sudduth Elementary first grade teacher.
She was one of the Starkville Public Schools’ first teachers to be nationally board certified in 1999. The Mississippi State University alumna holds M.S. and B.S. degrees in Elementary Education.
The most recent of Ellis’ many awards is the 2008 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for which she will be recognized in Washington, D.C. in January.
A leader in her profession, she is on the Mississippi Professional Educators Board and an officer of the Mississippi Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

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