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McQueen, Encores encourage FRES students at Rally

By Jason Johnson jjohnson@southeastsun

Southeast Sun
Fort Rucker AL | February 25, 2014

Mike McQueen gives a pep talk to students at Fort Rucker Elementary School Feb. 19. The students will take the Terra Nova standardized assessment during the week of Feb. 24-28

Mike McQueen gives a pep talk to students at Fort Rucker Elementary School Feb. 19. The students will take the Terra Nova standardized assessment during the week of Feb. 24-28 | Photo: Jason Johnson

Local doctor Mike McQueen spoke to students at Fort RuckerElementary School Feb. 18 during the school's annual Time to Shine Rally.

For the last three year's FRES has celebrated the hard workand dedication of its students as they prepare for Terra Nova Week.

"Terra Nova is a nationally-standardized assessment, whichis given to students throughout the world," FRES Principal Vicki Gilmer said."Fort Rucker Elementary School has continued to receive outstanding scores eachyear and is consistently high above the national average."

McQueen, whose father was in the Army, is an FRES alumnus.

He used his experiences in medical school and as a footballplayer at the University of Alabama to inspire the students to, "get ready, getset and go" when it comes time to take their test.

"When I was going to school at Alabama, we spent a lot moretime getting ready than we did actually playing the game," McQueen said."You've been doing the same thing all year for this test."

McQueen said being ready means studying, but getting setmeans being ready to perform on the day of the test.

He told the students to get plenty of rest, eat a goodbreakfast and come to school to take on the Terra Nova with confidence.

"When you finally 'go,' you have to have passion," McQueensaid. "You can't get discouraged. At some point during that test you'll think,'I can't do this,' but you have to have the attitude that you can do this, andyou have to finish strong."

McQueen didn't just encourage the students.

He also spoke directly to the teachers who have prepared theFRES students all year long.

He said he started striving for his dreams in elementaryschool when a teacher encouraged him to develop a passion for reading.

"There's somebody in this room who's going to have a dreamthat starts right here at Fort Rucker Elementary School because one of you believedin them," McQueen said. "You're going to plant a dream. You might see it, butyou probably won't. However, there's always the one time that one teacher madea difference, just like you will."

For entertainment, which the Time to Shine Rally is know for,the Encores Show Choir from Enterprise High School gave the students a sneakpeak at its competition show.

After their performance, several of the EHS students sharedtheir experiences as children in a military family.

The Fort Rucker Elementary School Band also performed anoriginal number titled "We Got This."

"Fort Rucker not only receives high scores annually, but(was) also named the second highest ranking of all DODEA schools during theaccreditation year 2012-13," Gilmer said. "The faculty and staff at Fort RuckerElementary School are dedicated to serving the families that serve ourcountry."


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