Mrs. Michelle Hilton is one of our fantastic Homeschool Educators here at Elite. Her father is an Air Force Veteran who served for 50 years, so the military played a very big part in her life. In honor of Veterans Day, she asked her students to write letters to Veterans with the help of Operation Gratitude. This thoughtful gesture soon inspired other teachers and Elite families to join in and express their gratefulness with writing letters or creating their own artwork to express their thanks.


Operation Gratitude Letters to Veterans from a few of our Elite Students! 


When we think of our Military Veterans, we all think of the friends or family members in our lives that have served and protected. Here at Elite, we are especially grateful for our Veteran Staff, Parents, and Family Members. We had the opportunity to ask a couple of our current Elite Staff and Military Veterans how their time in the Military impacted their current career and led them to working in Education.


Adam Woodard, Elite’s Director of Finance and Navy SEAL Veteran

My time in the SEAL teams taught me in no uncertain terms the value of teamwork, discipline, and finding a way to succeed regardless of the adversity in front of us. In my new mission as Director of Finance, I might not get to interact very much with the teachers and students that make this school as amazing as it is, but my team and I are honored to be in a position to help them achieve their goals. Leaving the Teams, I wanted to find a driven group of people who understand what it means to work hard and find a way, and I think Elite Academic Academy fulfills that definition and then some. This team truly is Elite!





Laura Spencer, Ed.D, Chief Academic Innovation Officer and Army Psychological Operations Specialist Veteran

I joined the Army on a whim when I turned 18. Little did I know just how much it would change my life. As a Psychological Operations Specialist attached to a Special Warfare Unit, I learned that I was capable of achieving just about anything if I set my mind to it and pushed through my self-doubts. With this new outlook on life, I volunteered to serve in Germany for 3.5 years. With nothing but a calling card and the German translation to order a burger at McDonald’s, I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. I traveled to 13 countries while stationed there; made amazing friends; and gained life and leadership skills that continue to serve me today. I would encourage anyone thinking of serving to do some research about the options available and do it! I’m grateful for my time served, and proud that both my daughters have chosen to serve as well, in the U.S. Navy. (Go Army! Beat Navy!)


Staff Family Members Salute their Veterans


Kira Donaldson, Business Service Clerk and Wife to USMC Master Gunnery Sergeant, James Donaldson Jr. 

Quite a few men have served in my immediate family to include my maternal and paternal grandfathers, uncle, great-uncle and brother-in-law. My husband is an active duty Marine currently serving at Camp Pendleton. Last week he received notification that he has been selected for promotion to the highest enlisted ranking of Master Gunnery Sergeant! I am very grateful for the past, present and future Veterans. 



Maria Mack, Flex Academy Educator and Daughter to Army and Vietnam War Veteran, Charlie Mack 

I am proud of this veteran, who happens to be my dad, Charlie Mack.  He was in the army at the height of the Vietnam War.  He inspired my uncle to enlist in the army.  My uncle later on became a paratrooper.  Happy Veteran’s Day!







Nolan Hutton, Special Education Coordinator and son to the first Female EOD Bomb Tech in the Marines






There is still time to write a letter or create artwork for Operation Gratitude. Here is the link to the letter writing tool kit. Once the students have written their letters, you can email them to your Teacher of Record or to Kiley Allen at [email protected]. We want to wish a Happy Veterans Day to all of our Military Veterans and their Families!

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis, WWII Journalist