The Military Child Education Coalition announced on Tuesday that Eglin Air Force Base, along with the Okaloosa County School District and school liaison, were among the 28 recipients of the 2020 Lt. Gen. (Retired) H.G. “Pete” Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award™.
The annual award, now in its 16th year, encourages and reflects the outstanding partnerships formed between military installations and school districts that serve military- and veteran-connected children, according to MCEC.
Each year, winning partnerships are selected from schools and military installations around the world who celebrate the military child in exceptional and sustainable ways.
“The recipients of this year’s “Pete” Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award are truly an inspiration,” said MCEC President and CEO Dr. Becky Porter. “These leaders have fostered relationships that have enriched the lives of military- and veteran-connected children around the world and reflect the very best of who we all should aspire to be within our communities.”
“Innovating Academic Excellence Through Partnership”
Established in 2017, Team Eglin and Okaloosa County School District’s “Innovating Academic Excellence Through Partnership” program impacted 32,000 throughout over 55 schools.
The goal of the partnership was simple – maximize innovation at every possible level to produce academic outcomes that are outstanding in every way, according to MCEC.
“As a former military child myself, I know how important the schools are in the lives of military students,” said Superintendent Marcus Chambers. “Having programs specific to the needs of our military students is critical as they help our students transition into a new community and as they help our students learn at an even higher level. So, as a former military child it warms my heart to be recipients of the “Pete” Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award because I know full well the value and importance of a strong partnership with the military community.”
In October 2018, Hurricane Michael not only devastated our neighbors to the east, but disrupted the lives of Tyndall Air Force Base family members. A Disaster Task Force was formed that facilitates the “healing and restoration assistance to over 2,500 military families for a two-year period.” The partnership also proved vital in assisting families with transition, school enrollment, registration, records management, and school supply distribution.
“When COVID-19 hit, they were able to transition 4,500 students to online education within two weeks and prepared a question and answer flyer for those families undergoing a move (PCS) and caught in the middle of a transition,” wrote MCEC in a press release.
“Our school district values the partnership we have with Eglin Air Force Base, the military community and especially our military students,” said Chambers. “As a school district, being able to serve and assist the military community during times such as Hurricane Michael and the COVID-19 Pandemic is an honor and a privilege. Knowing the sacrifices our military troops make for our school district, our community and the entire nation, it is critical that we do all we can to hopefully afford one less worry for those who provide all of us the freedoms we experience each day.”