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Continuing the Legacy: New Tech Students Celebrate Seventh Annual Purple Heart Servant Leadership Day

Students at Belton New Tech High School @ Waskow spent Wednesday honoring their campus’ namesake by serving the community.

About 450 students completed projects like cleaning up local parks, decorating cookies to donate to local police and reading books to elementary students as part of the seventh annual Purple Heart Servant Leadership Day.

The day honors the school’s namesake, Belton native Capt. Henry T. Waskow, and his dedication to service.

Juniors Celeste Jones and Caitlyn Stearns wrote thank you cards to veterans and encouraging notes to breast cancer survivors.

“It’s simple but something that has a huge impact,” Jones said. “My goal is to be responsible and be a part of my community as much as possible. That’s what builds character and cultivates a good person.”

In 2015, New Tech was named the country’s first-ever Purple Heart School, an honor bestowed on the school because of Waskow’s connection.

Waskow died on Dec. 14, 1943, while serving in World War II. Waskow’s legacy was largely defined by his commitment to helping others and dedicating his life to having a positive impact on those he led, his community and his country. 

As part of their graduation requirements, New Tech students are required to complete at least 10 hours of community service.

Stearns is grateful for the opportunity to serve.

“It shows that New Tech values developing people who value other people,” she said. “Belton ISD and the school allowing us to take this day has been a blessing, for sure, and that they have the will to teach us to serve as they’re serving us, too. It’s important to give back to the community that serves you as well.”

December 15, 2021