Suwannee Democrat

Local News

June 8, 2006

Former assistant principal honored with U.S. Army medal

Major Ivan Udell, former Suwannee High School (SHS) assistant principal, was recently awarded a bonze star medal by the United States Army for exceptional service as an executive officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom. School officials recognized Udell for his success in a Board meeting June 7.

Udell, of the 648th Engineer Battalion, served in Operation Iraqi Freedom between June 2005 and May 2006. This was his second time serving in Iraq.

Udell served as assistant principal at SHS for several years. He was also a school teacher in Lakeland and at Suwannee Middle School.

Also at the meeting Udell acknowledged school administration for their support of him in Iraq. He presented Superintendent Walter Boatright and the School Board an American flag and a certificate extending his appreciation.

"This was my second deployment. I just thought of how much you supported me and the send-off you gave me, so I thought I'd do something special," Udell said with gratitude.

The certificate states the flag presented was flown by Udell at Camp Ader in Iraq April 20.

"Mr. Boatright was the first one I met when I walked into the Suwannee County School Board Office for the first time. It's been a real pleasure being associated with the District," he said. "I appreciate everything you've done for me."

"Ivan is not only a warrior for the school system but for our military front, as well. He has done an outstanding job in our School District and abroad representing our country," Boatright said at the meeting. "Know you have a home here once you're released from the military."

Boatright said the District is honored and appreciative to be associated with Udell.

Udell commented at the meeting that being in the military now is especially tough with the deployment and the mission and worrying about civilian employment when you get back.

Udell is currently stationed at Ft. Sill in Oklahoma, where he will round out his military career on the home front. After retiring, his plans are to return to Suwannee County.

"I plan to return to the school system, maybe in administration," he said after the meeting.

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