Northport High School social studies teacher and veteran Darryl St. George was selected by Senator James Gaughran for the 2021 New York State Veterans’ Hall of Fame. Due to the pandemic, Mr. St. George was not able to receive the traditional celebratory ceremony at the time of his induction. This past Thursday, November 10, Senator Gaughran visited Northport High School to present Mr. St. George with his award during a surprise ceremony.
With many of Mr. St. George’s students and colleagues filling the high school commons, Superintendent of Schools Robert Banzer and Chairperson for Social Studies Sean Hurley welcomed Senator Gaughran in advance of Veteran’s Day, thanking him for his continued support of the district’s schools. Senator Gaughran then spoke about the hard work of our local veterans.
“We are very blessed in our country and in our community that we have people who step forward. They step forward to protect us. Step forward to protect our democracy,” Senator Gaughran said. “In our community, we have a lot of great people who have done this and who have worked very hard to protect us and then go on when they come back to work in our community and to help not only fellow veterans, but to help educate and help move our society forward.”
While Mr. St. George was aware he had received this award in 2021, the ceremony came as a surprise as he was called to the podium as the NYS Veteran of the Year in Senate District 5. During his time in the Navy and stationed in Afghanistan, Mr. St. George obtained the rank of 3rd Class Petty Officer, Fleet Marine Force (F.M.F. Corpsman) and earned many awards for his service.
When addressing his colleagues and students, Mr. St. George was emotional as he spoke about his hope for the future and how his students continuously inspire him. “Every day when I work with you students, that’s where I get my inspiration from,” he said.
According to the NYS Senate website, the Veterans’ Hall of Fame “was created to honor and recognize outstanding veterans from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves both in military and civilian life.”