Assistant Principal and Army National Guard Colonel Kris Kough returned to University High School today, after serving nearly a year in Afghanistan. He was stationed in Kandahar for 10 months, where he was the senior military advisor to the Afghanistan National Army 205th Corps as part of a NATO Coalition Force. His role was to advise senior military leaders on combat and security operations throughout southern Afghanistan. Mr. Kough has served in the Army National Guard for 30 years.
The surprise homecoming, organized by school administrators, teachers and students, was a campus-wide celebration during the student snack period this morning. Students lined the walkway from the administration building to the center quad area, known as the “Crossroads,” waving American flags and cheering for Mr. Kough. Uni cheerleaders and the drumline escorted him to the stage, where the Boy Scout Color Guard presented the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the National Anthem performed by the Uni Wind Symphony.
Uni Principal Dr. Kevin Astor spoke briefly, followed by Superintendent Terry Walker and Mr. Kough. IUSD Board President Lauren Brooks and Assistant Superintendent of Education Services Cassie Parham were also on hand to welcome Mr. Kough home.
“Uni students have a history of service through clubs and service projects,” said Dr. Astor. “Our teachers and staff got into their line of work to serve students and the community. However, few can truly understand the level of service and sacrifice Mr. Kough has exemplified. His service to our country is based on his heart and a sense of duty. He has been away from his family and from our students for nearly a year. We could not be more excited to have him home, safe and back with us.”
During his remarks, Superintendent Walker said, “Mr. Kough’s service to our students and to our country is a model for compassion, courage and commitment. He represents the best of IUSD. He is an inspiration to us all. On behalf of IUSD and our more than 35,000 we thank Mr. Kough for his service.”
Before the brief celebration ended with the Wind Symphony’s performance of The Army Goes Rolling Along, Mr. Kough addressed students, “I missed you. I went into teaching a long time ago, because I love serving you. I went into the military, because I love serving this great country and you. I really believe that is why we are on this planet, to serve each other and to take care of each other.”