Winchester Marine returns home to speak at Shearer Elementary

Published 9:15 am Friday, November 4, 2022

As a young man growing up in the Clark County Public Schools, Private First Class Mario Arreguin attended his share of assemblies.

Now, he’s become the subject of one.

Arreguin, a George Rogers Clark High School graduate this past summer, returned to his alma mater – Shearer Elementary School – and spoke to students at an assembly Thursday afternoon.

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“I have two siblings there and some teachers that are still working there, and I promised Miss Campbell that I’d always come back,” Arreguin said.

Lindsay Campbell is currently assistant principal at Shearer Elementary School, yet the connection between her and Arreguin goes far back.

She served as Arreguin’s third-grade teacher when he was a boy.

After introducing him to students at the assembly by pointing out that Arreguin was the only recruit from Kentucky in a class of 500 to make it through boot camp in his company, she echoed the same message for additional students she had given Arreguin years earlier.

“ This day is very special to me and our school. I told him like I always tell all of my students [that] when you graduate from high school, I want you to come back and see me”,

she said. “I want to know all of the great things you are preparing for your future.”

Key to Arreguin’s speech was a message that can serve elementary students well.

“My message really was to be kind to one another, always be there for the person to the left and right of you, and to always have care and compassion,” he said.

“It’s always needed.”

Acknowledging that he and his family faced some challenges while growing up, Arreguin was keen not to allow obstacles to get in the way.

His time at Shearer Elementary School helped build a foundation for growth.

“[I] always grew up with the mindset that I always wanted to do better, and I always wanted to give myself better,” he said. “Going through Shearer, the teachers and staff there always told us and always pointed us in the correct direction…That’s what I kind’ve wanted to tell the kids. No matter what, you’re always going to have obstacles and [can] always surpass them.”

Arreguin’s journey to becoming a Marine has been long in the making.

“As a young man or young child, I always looked at the [military] guys as the coolest,” he said. “In high school, I was in the junior ROTC program…Some of my family members [also] inspired me to go to the military.”

With his three months of boot camp training in Parris Island, SC, behind him, Arreguin plans to move forward.

Plans include leaving at the start of November for Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, for one month.

Afterward, he will travel to Pensacola, Florida, to learn how to work on electronics for fixed-wing airplanes.

Arreguin hopes that his position as a Marine can help inspire students.

“We’re taught that our three core values are honesty, courage, and commitment,” he said.“In and out of uniform, I’m a Marine… I wanted to show the kids that no matter what, [they] can be who [they choose] to be.