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Chrysalis students open military museum in Roswell

School open to public



Chrysalis Experiential Academy Director Richard Becker shows off a hat from the Gulf War. Behind it is a sheaf of money from the Confederate States, issued shortly before the end of the war. Both are part of the exhibition at the school's military museum.
November 26, 2013
ROSWELL, Ga. Just in time for Veterans Day, the Chrysalis Experiential Academy in Roswell opened its own Veterans Museum.

Photographs, stories and artifacts from veterans line the walls of a classroom converted into a museum. Display cases hold valued medals and knick-knacks from numerous wars. And it was all gathered by students.

The museum was started as a student project that would honor veterans by collecting stories of veterans' service. It soon changed as many more stories came in than they anticipated.

"Like everything else here, it turned out to be more than just a project," said Richard Becker, director of Chrysalis Experiential Academy. "In this day and age, if you ask a kid what is Veterans Day, they don't have a clue."

He said students see it as a day off from school rather than a day to remember not just veterans, but also family members who have taken up arms.

The project was to get students talking to their families about their service.

Begun by students Shields Mooney and Teddy Gathmann, it has taken on a life of its own.

"Shields is our seventh-grade museum director," said Gathmann. "He frames and hangs everything. This goes a lot more than World War II and Vietnam. We go all the way back to the Revolutionary War."

A World War I artillery shell now sits as a converted lamp. A WWI gas mask sits on a shelf. Postcards and documents of service and platoon pictures line the walls, along with maps and portraits and many of the people in them are related to a student in the school. Each student spoke with their families to gather the material and stories of wartime relatives.

A sheaf of printed Confederate money sits in one box. These bills have the distinction of being among the last currency printed for the Confederates before the end of the Civil War, on the exact date of March 20, 1865.

The printers never received payment for the bills.

Becker said the museum is open to the public and accepts donations of items from the veteran community.

"It's going to keep evolving," Becker said. "We're not going to stop."

The museum is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. until Dec. 18. Chrysalis Experiential Academy is located at 10 Mansell Court East, No. 500, Roswell. Call them at 770-649-7077.

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Editor, Milton Herald
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  1. report print email
    Great School
    December 01, 2013 | 10:44 AM

    Our son, Max, currently in 8th grade at Chrysalis, LOVES school! This is his third year there, and his love of going to school makes even the 28 miles there and back palatable.

    Jan Harlin Levie
  2. report print email
    Chrysalis: Exceptional School, Students & Educational Leader!
    December 01, 2013 | 11:13 AM

    Richard Becker is a one-of-a-kind ... Brilliant educator who leads with compassion and experience. His school and students are blessed beyond measure ... and reflect his integrity and intelligence. We are ALL blessed!

    Diana Black
    Marietta GA
  3. report print email
    Chrysalis: Exceptional School, Students & Educational Leader!
    December 01, 2013 | 11:13 AM

    Richard Becker is a one-of-a-kind ... Brilliant educator who leads with compassion and experience. His school and students are blessed beyond measure ... and reflect his integrity and intelligence. We are ALL blessed!

    Diana Black
    Marietta GA
  4. report print email
    A environment for success
    December 01, 2013 | 01:49 PM

    Chrysalis is a truly remarkable place, the faculty are nice and are always willing to go the extra mile to help the students. Chrysalis approaches education in a unique way with hands on learning and an interactive invoirment.

    Lewis MCDermott
  5. report print email
    Chrysalis Academy
    December 01, 2013 | 01:50 PM

    Chrysalis is a one of a kind school led by Richard Becker. Richard knows every one of his students and encourages, leads and guides them to develop their individual talent. Our son spent his high school years at Chrysalis and we are happy with the guidance and education he received.

    Cynthia Rennolds
  6. report print email
    Outstanding School Program and School
    December 01, 2013 | 02:28 PM

    Richard Becker is an outstanding educator who possesses energy, creativity, knowledge and experience. He understands the needs of students and as a result the educational program at Chrysalis is outstanding. As a grandparent of a student attending Chrysalis and as an educator, I am grateful for the opportunities to learn that are provided. The museum is one of the many ways that students are given a chance to be involved in the community.
    Barbara Ramer

    Barbara Ramer
    Roswell, Georgia
  7. report print email
    Chrysalis Experiential Academy
    December 01, 2013 | 09:19 PM

    Richard Becker and Chrysalis truly changed the course of my son's life. He had so much anxiety in the cookie cutter public school system and I will never forget our battles over homework. He is now living away from home at Ga. Southern and majoring in and rocking Physics and Calculus. He wants to get his master's degree in physics. I remember the day that it hit me that my son might end up in academia doing research or as a professor. Richard Becker really knows how to unlock the potential of his students.

    Elizabeth McCampbell
  8. report print email
    What every school SHOULD be
    December 01, 2013 | 09:49 PM

    My son has attended Chrysalis since the sixth grade and has truly experienced a metamorphosis. He has gone from a shy under-achiever to a young man who is ready to take on any task before him. We're excited for what lays ahead knowing he has been in a nurturing environment that has unlocked his true potential. If only every child could experience such a school.

    Jane Harper
  9. report print email
    The Experiential in Chrysalis Experiential Academy
    December 01, 2013 | 10:12 PM

    This is why Chrysalis is an Experiential Academy. At best, most other students read about Veteran's Day once a year; and have a hard time relating to this important day of recognition. At Chrysalis, students learn the significance of Veteran's Day
    through a real family experience of war; and therefore do not have a hard time relating to this important day of recognition....That is the difference.

    Steven G Wenig
  10. report print email
    Chrysalis Experiential Academy
    December 02, 2013 | 10:15 AM

    I have had the pleasure of working with Richard and the Chrysalis students over the past 3-4 years working on our PB & J food drive, their annual student art exhibit and most recently the schools young entrepreneur program. These kids are amazing and a true testament to Richard and his team's leadership.

    Kevin Bamford
  11. report print email
    Super School
    December 02, 2013 | 04:25 PM

    I have 2 children that graduated from this amazing school and they are both doing very well. Chrysalis focuses on learning and social responsibility.

    This is a wonderful school.

    R. Sheroff
    Johns Creek
  12. report print email
    Chrysalis Experiential Academy
    December 02, 2013 | 04:46 PM

    Thanks to Richard Becker and Chrysalis my son acquired the skills necessary to graduate from college with a finance degree and is now employed by a local bank. No school does experiential learning better than Chrysalis. Thanks Richard.

    Hiedi Weiss
  13. report print email
    December 03, 2013 | 08:11 AM

    This school is truly a place where each student is valued and encouraged. What a great experience!

    Angie Lyons
  14. report print email
    Chrysalis Experiential Academy - Best Opportunity you can give y
    December 03, 2013 | 10:30 PM

    My son struggled in the public school system, lost in the crowd. Once attending Chrysalis, the transformation began as his potential was unleashed. Richard Becker has a unique way of teaching through experiential learning, allowing the children to express themselves openly. My son went from dreading school (in the public school system), to looking forward to getting to class each day (at Chrysalis) as learning became fun for him. Through the classroom and the many sports activities open to him, his confidence grew and grew. He graduated 2 years ago and is continuing his education in real estate. I highly recommend this experience and wish all kids could have this opportunity!

    Donna Patterson
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