Valley Forge surprises Crain with eagle dedication

Published 2:15 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2022

By Angela Cutrer
Elizabethton Star
It’s not known if anyone had previously let the cat out of the bag, so to say, when Valley Forge School Board Chairman Kelly Crain showed up Monday at Valley Forge School for a fall festival, but if they did, the honor offered Crain seemed to still be a surprise.
“We were having this fall festival of gratitude with Thanksgiving coming and as we were deciding on particulars, we decided to honor someone who means a lot to us,” Principal Brandon Young said. “We knew [Crain] knew something, but we were hoping he didn’t know exactly what was going to happen.”
What happened to kick off the festival of thanksgiving was the dedication of a new concrete eagle monument purchased by an anonymous supporter and dedicated to Crain for his constant source of inspiration to the school and its inhabitants.
“He’s a super good guy and we knew we would enjoy surprising him this way,” Young added. “He’s coached basketball; he’s a business owner in Carter County; and he cares about all our students. We were really excited to see his reaction.”
Crain attended the school and had dedicated his life to the school as a lifelong eagle, Young said.
The hand-painted monument sits right in the school’s hallway and will be accompanied by a plaque behind it, describing Crain’s dedication. The plan is when students are taking state tests, they can tap the eagle’s beak for good luck as they pass it in the hallway.
“It is our goal that if something happens to this school — with budget cuts and so on, you never know — that Crain will take the monument with him to remember how much he was loved and appreciated by all of us,” Young said.
Valley Forge raised money for future school activities through the festival’s food vendors and games.
The eagle doesn’t have a name yet, so Valley Forge officials asked students and employees to make suggestions. Three names will be chosen from the suggestions and then a vote in the school will choose the winning name.
Valley Forge will announce the name after Thanksgiving break.

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