Pictured, from left, are J.C. Abney, IMCOM's director of Family and MWR programs; Marilee Fitzgerald, Department of Defense Education Activity director; Angela Wilson, 2012 DoDEA Teacher of the Year; and Rob Gordon, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Military, Community and Family Policy. Fitzgerald accepted the 2012 Pete Taylor Parnership of Excellence Award June 28 on behalf of the Fort Benning school district.

FORT BENNING, Ga. (July 11, 2012) -- The Military Child Education Coalition awarded Fort Benning Schools in the Georgia and Alabama districts the 2012 Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award on June 28 at the organization's 14th National Training Seminar in Grapevine, Texas.

The Department of Defense Education Activity Director Marilee Fitzgerald accepted the award on behalf of the district.

"I am extremely proud of everyone involved in these very successful partnerships between our schools and the military community at Fort Benning," Fitzgerald said in a Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools news release. "This award truly recognizes their commitment, enthusiasm and hard work, all of which benefit the children."

The award, established in 2004, recognizes retired Lt. Gen. H.G. "Pete" Taylor and his dedication to helping military children.

It honors partnerships between military installations and school districts, according to the MCEC website.

"(It's) very prestigious," said Fordyce Stone, education operations manager, on winning the award. "All of our schools won (a Partners in Education award) -- every one of our schools. Normally, one school will get an award out of your district, but for all of ours to get something -- that's a big deal. We've never had that happen before."

Fort Benning Schools took home many Partners in Education awards this year, including Dexter Elementary School winning Top Partnership of the Year -- beating 79 other schools -- with its partners, the 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, and 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment.

Dexter, Faith Middle School, Loyd Elementary School, McBride Elementary School, White Elementary School and Wilson Elementary School placed in the top 10 partnerships.

The schools and their partners are in constant communication and are involved with each other, Stone said -- and are an integral part of the student's lives.

"This is great for all of our schools … it just shows you the strength of the PIE partnerships here. I've never seen the likes of it," he said.

Page last updated Thu July 12th, 2012 at 16:27