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Retired four-star general Johnnie E. Wilson, who served in the U.S. Army, is one of the founders of BEYA Stars and Stripes, a key part of the annual BEYA STEM Conference.

General Johnnie E. Wilson Park, located in Lorain, Ohio, celebrated its 25th anniversary a few years ago with special events. The park is named after Wilson, who was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but raised in Lorain.

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He enlisted in the Army in 1961 and later became a commissioned officer. Wilson held various commanding and staff positions, including commanding general of Army Materiel Command.

After retiring from the U.S. Army in 1999, Wilson became the president and chief operating officer of Dimensions International, Inc. He also served on the board of the Truman Library Institute and is a member of the Foundation’s Honorary Advisory Committee for the Army Scholarship Foundation.

Recently, the Cleveland Browns partnered with Amazon to celebrate the General Johnnie Wilson Middle School and presented the school with an award for its excellent attendance and willingness to learn as part of the Stay In The Game! program.

Amazon donated $25,000 to the Cleveland Browns Foundation for the Stay in the Game! Attendance Network on Dec. 19, as part of Amazon’s TNF for GOOD Initiative, which aims to provide community support in all the cities hosting Thursday Night Football this season.

The Browns hosted the New York Jets at the Cleveland Browns Stadium on Dec. 28 for the Week 17 Thursday Night Football game.

The Stay in the Game! program is an initiative conducted in partnership with 50 school districts across Ohio, helping them build attendance campaigns and develop a communications and engagement strategy to improve student attendance. Within the initiative, 50 school districts nominate an educator or staff person at a school who incentivizes, encourages, and motivates students to attend school regularly.

The principal at General Johnnie Wilson Middle School received multiple nominations and was recognized for her impact and influence on the school and its students. Principal Nikole Barfield-Davis said the school’s attendance had increased by 9% this school year, which she attributed partly to staff finding fun ways to engage students.

For her work in bringing attendance up and helping students feel safe and at home while at school, Barfield-Davis was awarded Super Bowl tickets, while some teachers at the school received tickets for the Browns game against the New York Jets on Dec. 28 as recognition for their efforts.

Renee Harvey, vice president of the Cleveland Browns Foundation, said the Browns wanted to help improve student attendance and partnered with Amazon, which provided many prizes. “We believe in their vision of having students come together and learn while making friendships with one another,” said Ian Conyers, Amazon’s head of community affairs.

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