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UP CLOSE: Lake Placid student honors veterans for senior project

June 8, 2018
By GRIFFIN KELLY - Staff Writer (gkelly@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - One day when Scott Schulz was driving home from school, he stopped at a crosswalk and waved an old man to cross. Schulz noticed that the man had a severe limp, so he offered him a ride home. The man said he was a veteran, had three bullets lodged in his hip and suffered from brain cancer. Schulz never asked for the man's name, but that interaction hit home for the young student.

A senior at Lake Placid Middle-High School, Schulz, among all other 12th graders, is in the midst of finishing his capstone assignment. For his senior project, Schulz made banners commemorating village veterans. The six flags will be hung near the American Legion Post 326 and Olympic Speedskating Oval.

The banners feature military men and woman in their dress uniforms layered on top of an American flag as well as their names, ranks and branch seals. The veterans Schulz chose are Noah Mohr, Don Edgley, Jim Hadjis, Dorothy LeClair, Justin Roy and Trevor Hough.

Article Photos

Lake Placid Middle-High School senior Scott Schulz stands in front of the school.
(News photo — Griffin Kelly)

"It was probably the first project that I was excited to do and follow through with," he said.

Though Schulz respects military personnel, but the idea for the banners wasn't actually his. A few months ago, Schulz's father drove through Keeseville and noticed the Hometown Hero banners - flags with photos of soldiers, marines, pilots and sailors hanging from lampposts. He thought it would be the perfect idea for his son, who hadn't settled on a senior project yet.

Schulz wanted to get them hung by Memorial Day, but making the banners took longer than he expected. Having a limited knowledge with Adobe PhotoShop and other design software, Schulz needed some help.

"I had a nice one-week crash course of PhotoShop," he said. "Mr. [Brian] Lavallee definitely helped me out big time there. It was starting to come down to the wire."

The banners are finished now, but they won't be hung until Veterans Day after Schulz graduates.

"I was kind of bummed I didn't get them up in time," he said, "but they'll get there eventually."

Schulz knows one of the featured veterans - Noah Mohr - fairly well.

"He was in my brother's grade and graduated two years ago," Schulz said. "He's always been a good friend to me and never had any reason to look down on me because I was younger. That happens a lot in high school.

"I was like, 'Hey, can I hang your face up around Main Street for a few days?' and he gave me permission."

One of the other veterans Schulz met while conducting his research was Don Edgley, a pilot Schulz's father knows because they're both electricians. His father and Edgley would often "swap tricks of the trade," as Schulz put it.

"He has some crazy stories," Schulz said. "Once while [Edgley] was in the Air Force, he lost engines as they were flying. That's just crazy to me because sometimes you only hear stories like that secondhand, but coming from a person that's sitting there on oxygen, fighting for every breath, still fighting like he did in the war, was just really awesome."

In the fall, Schulz will attend the University of Vermont and continue his nordic ski career, a sport in which he is nationally ranked. Though he enjoys skiing, Schulz didn't express much enthusiasm about traditional academic learning. He said throughout high school, he preferred taking BOCES automotive technology classes in Saranac Lake. Schulz said he's even considered joining the military himself.

"I definitely have thought about that," he said. "Just because right now, as a senior, I've got some major decision making to do relatively soon. I'm not too excited about going to school for another four years. I'm definitely still thinking about it as a plan B, for sure. I wouldn't rule out [the military] until maybe health rules it out, or I find my calling in college."

Before Schulz could hang the banners, he had to get approval from the Lake Placid village board. It was a success and village Mayor Craig Randall said that he not only appreciates Schulz's enthusiasm to honor local vets, but he hopes it creates a legacy and others will hang hero banners after Schulz graduates.

"I never really thought about it until [Randall] said that," Schulz said, "but that would be awesome because I still think that veterans should be honored more than one or two days out of the year."

Schulz pointed to the flagpoles along Main Street that normally carry flags for Can-Am tournaments and the Ironman triathlon and said, "If we can build it year after year then who knows, maybe all these flags you see will be swapped with veterans' faces."

 
 

 

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