Portage veterans, students building relationships

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By Noah Vernau

Forging strong connections between local veterans and students is a growing focus in Portage schools, the importance of which was easy to spot two weeks ago for Portage VFW member Dave DuVall.

“That’s our future,” said DuVall of students after he and a handful of other veterans put on the 10th annual U.S. History trivia contest at Portage High School. “It’s fun because a question a student answers might have three parts, and they’re saying, ‘Oh, I studied this. I know this. I should know this!’

“It’s nice to watch them really focus.”

Five freshmen selected by their peers competed in the contest March 14, answering questions from material they’ve been learning in history classes since September.

Daniel O’Connell emerged as this year’s winner, earning his classroom a VFW-hosted pizza party this week. Area veterans delivered and served the pizza, offering them another chance to “yack with the kids a bit,” DuVall said.

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