Monroe shares school liaison award
Members of the Joint Military Services School Liaison Committee of Hampton Roads, Va. pose for a photo with the 2010 Pete Taylor Exemplary Partnership Award at the Military Child Education Coalition Conference July 22 in National Harbor, Md. Pictured from, left to right, are: Charlie French, Kim Crutchfield, Allison Foster, David Wiker, Marian Leverette, Sharon Black, Katrina Patterson, Vernell Kilpatrick, John Hammer and Nancy Evans.

FORT MONROE, Va. -- A local school and community partnership, led by 10 school liaison officers who make up the Joint Military Services School Liaison Committee of Hampton Roads, Va., won exemplary honors at the 12th Annual Military Child Education Coalition Conference.

Monroe's School Liaison Officer, Charlie French, with nine others throughout Hampton Roads, Va., received the 2010 Pete Taylor Exemplary Partnership Award during the MCEC Conference awards ceremony led by Texas U.S. Representative Chet Edwards on July 22 in National Harbor, Md.

Fort Monroe leadership also lauded the partnership efforts of French during an employee town hall awards ceremony at the Post Theater on Aug. 11.

"Each of these recipients has brought together a variety of stakeholders in the community," Edwards said in his congratulatory remarks to the Hampton Roads team at the Maryland ceremony.

Other award recipients included:
*U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, Germany - Outstanding Partnership Award
*Fort Sill, Okla. - Exemplary Partnership Award
*USAG Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

Also, receiving awards were:
*Navy Region Southwest and Marine Corps Installation West, Calif. - Recognized Partnership Programs;
*U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and U.S. Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C. - Recognized Individual Program.

The annual awards were established in 2004 by Lt. Gen. H.G. "Pete" Taylor, a former MCEC chairman, to encourage and applaud the outstanding partnerships that exist among military installations and school districts. Edwards quoted Taylor's belief that "goodness happens at the local level."

"I can't think of anyone who deserves our respect more than our service members and their military families. You have done more for our unsung heroes (in the) hundreds of ways that you are making a difference in the lives of our military families," Edwards said.

The JMSSLC is comprised of 10 school liaison officers from nine military installations in Hampton Roads who meet monthly to promote and execute strategies that address the transitional challenges of military children. The team represents an estimated 67,000 school age military children who are enrolled in 354 schools in 12 school districts.

According to French, Hampton Roads has the largest concentration of military children in the United States.

"Our strength is in our numbers and the shared compassion of our team."
"It creates more impact when we go to Richmond (the state seat of government) and make our case for initiatives that benefit our military kids," French said.

One such initiative that was a consideration for the Exemplary Partnership Award was providing direct support of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. Virginia became one of 31 states to join the compact, and French attributes the success of passing this bill in state legislature to the involvement and subject matter expert advice of JMSSLC.

"When we became a member of the (Interstate) Compact, we set the course for other states like Texas, California and Maryland who also have large concentrations of military children to become members," French said.

Other initiatives that were presented for award consideration included the committee's role in the development of web-based training to build resilient military children, their creation of mini grants to benefit military children and their partnership involvement with Virginia's Operation Military Kids to offer a weekend camp for military children.

During the weeklong MCEC conference, which was themed, "Today's Children, Tomorrow's Leaders," the Hampton Roads team joined educators, administrators, school liaison officers, and military and civilian leaders to share insights and develop solutions for the educational and emotional challenges military children face.

Participants from around the world attended workshops, shared success stories and discussed efforts to change legislation to serve military children with special needs.

They also took part in forums during which military and civilian leaders discussed student resiliency in the wake of deployments, establishing common and consistent core standards in education and testing, and methods to instill values in tomorrow's leaders, who may follow their parents' footsteps by joining the military.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16