By Byron Nagasako; School Liaison Office; Child, Youth and School Services; Directorate of Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation; U.S. Army Garrison-HawaiiDecember 6, 2013
WAHIAWA, Hawaii (Dec. 6, 2013) -- How do you show your appreciation to the Army for its contributions to the public schools in the Leilehua Complex?
Recently, the complex area superintendent and Leilehua Complex principals opened their arms to the Army in a "meet and greet" session.
Highlighting this occasion was the recognition of military units by each of the complex schools' principals, as each one shared their thoughts about the ongoing School Partnership Program (SPP).
"I am honored to be here, and I am no stranger to Hawaii," said Brig. Gen. Todd McCaffrey, deputy commander, Support, 25th Infantry Division. "This is my third tour here, and two of my children, Michael and Sara, attended Leilehua High School. As parents, we couldn't be more pleased with the Hawaii education system.
"And, regarding the SPP," McCaffrey added, "this is a great time to strengthen our partnership with the schools since many of the Soldiers enjoy volunteering and working with the students."
Principal Sally Omalza of Solomon Elementary School used the opportunity to applaud her school's military education partnership.
"We have a special relationship with our military partner, the 3BSTB (3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion), and their POC (point of contact), Lt. Amanda Robinson," said Omalza.
"Projects with the units have included tutoring, reading, physical fitness, anti-bullying workshops, campus beautification and participating in special events." Omalza explained. She continued, "I am a proud graduate of Leilehua High School and also attended Hale Kula Elementary School. I am honored to be back at Schofield Barracks as an adult and serving our military community as one of the school principals."
Complex Area Superintendent Dr. John Brummel also shared success stories.
"Let me proudly inform you of the recent accomplishments of Leilehua High School. They have won the CyberPatriot National Championship for two years in a row, and that is unheard of nationally," said Brummel.
"LHS has also won the Oahu District Championship for the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) competition, captured the Robotics State Championship, and has been recognized for their art, agriculture and family and consumer science programs statewide and nationally," he said.
The gathering revealed additional multigenerational ties between education leaders and the Army.
Principal Aloha Coleman of Leilehua High School is also quite familiar with the Army. Her youngest son served for many years as a Soldier and has been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Coleman was the host for this event and showcased the talents of the Culinary Arts Department with its preparations, serving and food.
Student ambassadors provided a tour of the school's transition center and time for students to share their vision and mission for the nearly 50 Army-connected personnel and Department of Education staff who attended this session.