Alumnus killed in service of country

2009 graduate Phillip Vinnedge was killed yesterday while fighting for his country in Afghanistan. The truck Vinnedge was in was hit by a roadside bomb, according to information Principal Sonny Arnel received from people close to the family. Dr. Arnel was informed of the death last night.

“I got a phone call at home last night from secretary Brenda McClain informing me that Phillip had been killed,” said Dr. Arnel.

Vinnedge was the youngest of three. Older brothers Corey and Jason graduated in 2003 and 2006, respectively. Dr. Arnel sent out an e-mail to all staff members at Howell Central around 9:00 a.m. informing the school of Vinnedge’s death.

“If Phillip was a current student, I would have made an announcement to the entire school,” said Dr. Arnel. “Since he graduated two years ago, I wasn’t sure how many current students could have a strong connection with Phillip.”

Dr. Arnel decided to notify the staff so they could be on the lookout for students who could be acting differently.

“The guidance counselors are ready and willing to help any student that is grieving,” said Dr. Arnel.

The flag at Howell Central has been lowered to half-mast in honor of Vinnedge’s death. Vinnedge is the first alumnus in school history to pass away in the line of duty.