Working Together for a Bright Future

Veterans Memorial celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Veterans Memorial Middle School transformed its cafeteria into a true fiesta on Thursday as they kicked off their Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. 

Before even entering the room, the smell of freshly-made Spanish food and the rhythmic sounds of drums drifted down the hallway. Vibrant decorations welcomed students, staff, and guests into the eating space, which featured floor-to-ceiling decor and student artwork. On the far side of the room, a live band led by Manny “Papo Conga” Resto and VMS music teacher Ed Zatzariny entertained the crowd and provided a lively atmosphere. Students were treated to a special menu by Sodexo, the district’s food service provider, of cilantro and lime chicken, Spanish rice and beans, and churros. 

According to VMS assistant principal and organizer, Dorothy Burke, the event was also held in honor of Manny “Papo Conga Jr” Resto III, former VMS student and child music prodigy who passed away at the age of 30 in 2018. Resto III was the youngest endorsed artist to Latin Percussion Instruments and played congas alongside Latin Grammy artists such as Marc Anthony, Tito Puente, Jerry Rivera, and more. 

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. 

Click the following link for a gallery of photos: 

VPS Broadcasting was also at the event, and a short news piece can be found on our YouTube channel here: