On November 9, 2023, high school students at Wayne Central School District welcomed a panel of veterans from the community. The veterans shared their stories and led a discussion centered around the significance of community, embracing diversity, and expressing gratitude.
The panel included the following veterans:
Spenser Schmidt - served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2005-2013. Spenser served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He also served in Haiti and on board the USS Bataan in the Mediterranean Sea. Spenser is a 2005 Wayne Central School District Central graduate.
Ron Nigro - served in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot from 2001-2021. He finished his career as a Command Pilot with 3,000 flight hours in 7 different aircraft, including over 500 combat hours. Ron received both instructor and evaluator pilot certifications. Ron deployed overseas five times in support of the Global War on Terrorism, where he participated in numerous combat operations and in support of the U.S. Global Defense Force. Additionally, he flew many sensitive worldwide missions overseen by the U.S. Strategic Command and the Department of Defense. Ron served in a number of positions, including Flight Commander, Air Officer Commander, Deputy Operations Groups Commander, Chief Pilot, and Director of Operations. Ron recently retired after 20 years of service in July 2021. Ron is a parent in the Wayne Central School District Central community.
Rob Contestabile - served in the U.S. Army Reserves for six years and then served in the N.Y. Army National Guard, where he was assigned to the 827th Engineers in Buffalo. Rob served during Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 to 2004 with the 1st Infantry Division. Rob then served at Fort Drum and retired from the Army after 17 years of service. Rob previously worked and helped to coordinate local Rochester Honor Flight missions, where he participated in numerous flights to assist local veterans in their trips to the memorials in Washington, D.C. Rob currently leads a veteran support group that supports fundraising events and donation drives to support veteran organizations in Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse & Utica. Rob is a parent in the Wayne Central School District Central community.
Terra Ingersoll - served in the U.S. Army from 2004-2014. She participated in ROTC at SUNY Brockport and, after completing Airborne school, was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and joined the Army Reserves with the 98th Division in Rochester, NY. In 2008, she was deployed to Camp Bucca, Iraq, with the 400th Military Police Battalion. Upon returning from Iraq, Terra was the Company Commander of the 3/319 in Webster. Her time with that unit highlighted supporting the incoming Pleb (Freshman) Class at West Point in 2013. Terra is a parent in the Wayne Central School District Central community.
Joseph Geiger - served in the U.S. Army from 2006-2016. Joe served during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He also served as the former Recruiting Company Commander for the Greater Rochester Area. Joseph is a 2005 Wayne Central School District Central graduate and a parent in the Wayne Central School District Central community.