Hundreds of people packed the auditorium and gymnasium at Schuylerville High School on Tuesday, Nov. 17, to witness the unveiling of the 30th coin in the U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters program. The district was asked to host the ceremonial release of the 2015 Saratoga National Historic Park quarter, which depicts the world-altering 1777 British surrender at Saratoga.
“We were honored to be part of this historic event,” Principal Matthew Sickles said. “An event like this shows our students that significant moments in history happened in our own backyard.”
The commemorative quarter launch showcased the many talents of Schuylerville students. The high school symphonic band performed the national anthem and several patriotic songs, the vocal ensemble sang America the Beautiful and provided narration from several important moments in history, and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Schuylerville High School senior and Saratoga National Historical Park volunteer McClean Pink.
“I was honored to be part of the ceremony and lead the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance,” Pink said. “It was great to see the Schuylerville community come together to mark such an exciting moment in history.”
Schuylerville students currently studying U.S. history (grades 4, 7, 11, 12) were in attendance and every student in the district received a newly minted Saratoga quarter. Glens Falls National Bank was on hand for community members to exchange bills for rolls of Saratoga quarters.
ABOUT THE SARATOGA QUARTER
The coin’s reverse (tails side) design depicts a close-up of the moment General John Burgoyne surrendered his sword to General Horatio Gates, a turning point many believe marked the ‘beginning of the end of the American Revolutionary War’. The coin was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist Barbara Fox and engraved by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Renata Gordon.
The America the Beautiful Quarters Program is a multiyear initiative to honor 56 national parks and other national sites in each state, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. Each year until 2020, the bureau will release five new quarters with reverse designs representing select national sites. The final coin in the program will be released in 2021.
“Having Saratoga National Historical Park chosen among all of the national sites in New York to represent the state on the America the Beautiful quarter is a momentous occasion,” said Amy Bracewell, Saratoga National Historical park superintendent. “The significance of the American victory at the Battles of Saratoga in 1777 still rings true today as we continue to formulate the ideas of freedom and liberty in this country.”