From left to right: Mississippi Army National Guard Col. Rodney Harris, Overstreet Elementary VIVA art teacher Niki Mulrooney and Armstrong Middle School sixth grader Hannah Leach. Mulrooney is the inaugural recipient of the Mississippi National Guard’s Distinguished Teacher of Mississippi Award after being nominated by Hannah.

At its Veteran’s Day program, an Overstreet Elementary School teacher was honored for her support of veteran’s causes over the years.

VIVA art teacher Niki Mulrooney was the first recipient of the Mississippi National Guard Distinguished Teacher of Mississippi award. Mulrooney is the daughter of a Vietnam War draftee, and has led the production of Overstreet’s Veteran’s Day program for the past few years. It was during the program that the award was presented to her.

Mulrooney was nominated for the award by Armstrong Middle School sixth grader Hannah Leach, who was in Mulrooney’s program at Overstreet when she was in fifth grade. Hannah was in Mulrooney’s class while her father was deployed as a member of the National Guard.

The award was presented to Mulrooney by Mississippi National Guard Col. Rodney Harris. Mulrooney was also given a necklace with a magnolia flower pendant from the National Guard. Overstreet was also named the Mississippi National Guard’s school of the year.

“This is the first time it’s ever been given, so I didn’t know this award existed,” Mulrooney said. “I’m extremely honored that they considered me for it. I’m honored and I’m blessed that people believe in me, and that they support and believe in the programs that I do here at Overstreet."

“Honoring the veterans is something that we take very seriously, and high on our list of programs here,” Mulrooney added.


For more on this story, read Thursday's Starkville Daily News. 

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