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District alumnus and wounded veteran helps unveil new statue of school mascot

Sept. 1, 2021

Sept. 1 is always a memorable day for Mike DeLancey and Wednesday he helped to make it a memorable one for the students at Skyview Elementary. On this day in 2006, DeLancey was shot by a sniper while on patrol in Iraq. Now wheelchair bound, the former Marine currently helps other disabled veterans remain active with his organization Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch in Pinellas Park.

Wednesday morning, DeLancey, a 2003 Pinellas Park High School graduate, and a group of other disabled veterans helped Skyview Elementary unveil a statue of its mascot which is a bald eagle. The school named the eagle “Patriot.” The school’s students were in attendance cheering and waving American flags.

“We welcome our Wounded Warriors to Skyview, and we thank our wounded warriors for their sacrificial service to the United States of America, said Principal Suzanne Hester.

Principal Hester went on to say: “we welcome Patriot the Eagle to our Eagle Team as he leads our journey of parenting and teaching for the education of each and every Eagle student.”

The district’s Operational Services helped create Patriot the Eagle. Randy Huberty, Skyview’s Head Plant Operator, Matt Atwell, Operations Area 4 manager, Jeffrey Frey, structural planner, Jason Hulfish, artist, Stephanie Troya, assistant artist and Victor Fisher, painter, all assisted in the effort.

Principal Hester and Mike DeLancey












 Principal Suzanne Hester shakes the hand of Mike DeLancey

Statue unveiling














Bus with students waving flags















Students with flags