Committee bridges gap between educators, military families

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jordan Garner
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

When military families arrive at a new installation, navigating the school transition process can be stressful.

In an effort to make the transition seamless for families, the Moody School Board Liaison Committee acts as a partnership between base leadership and local school superintendents to support school-age children and their families.

"It's all of us coming together as a community to support the school-age children,” said Darren Hill, 23rd Force Support Squadron school liaison officer. “If there's any challenges that our military families face within the school system, we can work with the chain of command to help get those issues resolved. School superintendents are like wing commanders, so it's important to have an executive-level relationship with those superintendents.”

The committee is composed of Moody’s school liaison officer, Moody leadership and the local school districts. Their goal is to connect families, communities and schools with the support and resources.

“As the school liaison, I'm here to support military families who transition in and out of Moody with school age children,” said Hill. “I send them information on the surrounding school systems and help them understand the options for any type of education opportunity that they're looking for.”

To help students cope with deployments and other stressors military families may face, the committee provides in-school Military and Family Life Counselors. Local school officials also train with the Military Child Education Coalition so they can be equipped with the resources to help students resolve issues throughout the school year.

While resources and training are great tools, the committee hosts an annual base tour with the school officials to strengthen their relationship and give them an inside look at Moody’s mission and capabilities.

“We meet with the school superintendents from Lanier, Berrien, Valdosta City, and Lowndes County Schools on a quarterly basis to advocate for military families and their school age children,” said Hill. “This quarter, we hosted our annual base tour to help them understand the combat capabilities of Moody and the families who they support as school officials.”

The tour culminated a full school year of partnership that allowed committee members to have a greater awareness of the importance surrounding partnerships between military families and educators in the community.

“Moody has been an integral part of our communities for many years, and we’ve had a wonderful working relationship with them for a long time,” said Wes Taylor, Lowndes County School Superintendent. “Just to be afforded an opportunity to come on base and experience just in a small way, some of what our military personnel do day to day, we try to go out of our way to recognize, appreciate and are sensitive to our military students.”

For more information about the Moody School Board Liaison Committee, contact Darren Hill at 229-257-4380.