Mike Bayless, a recently retired history teacher from Joe Baca Middle School, returned as a volunteer to organize the school’s annual Veterans Day breakfast that would have been discontinued. With assistance from math teacher Dave Krivanek, the breakfast, in its fourth year, turned out to be a huge success, with 20 veterans, over 140 community members and Assemblymember Eloise Reyes in attendance.
“It’s important to honor our veterans, to pass it on to the younger generations and teach them that freedom isn’t free, someone has to pay,” expressed Bayless, also a veteran. “We have to continue to pass it down through the generations to make sure our country remains free.”
The San Bernardino Chapter of the Young Marines performed the Presentation of Colors as the Joe Baca Middle School Band, under the direction of John Wiley, played the National Anthem, and other patriotic songs throughout the event.
Bayless, who taught for 19 years in the Colton Joint Unified School District, explained it was important for him to come back to volunteer because of the students, while underscoring the commitment and dedication among parents.
“There were parents who don’t have kids in school anymore who still volunteered,” Bayless said. “This is a tremendous community that gives a lot of support – the parents are the machine that makes it all run.”