2 local schools win state honor for working with military families


Two local schools are among the first eight in Ohio to receive the state’s Purple Star Award for their commitment to serving military-connected students and families.

Beverly Gardens Elementary School in the Mad River district and Trebein Elementary School in Beavercreek were honored this week, and state schools Superintendent Paolo DeMaria visited Beverly Gardens on Thursday.

“They have families that are deployed, maybe mom or dad are leaving and going overseas,” said Beverly Gardens Principal Cristal Fields. “We try to do things here in the building to help them feel like we’re family too. We have deployment groups and lunch bunches where they can talk with friends who have similar situations.”

FIRST STORY: Ohio creates Purple Star award for schools

Ohio Department of Education officials said 34,000 Ohio children have a parent serving in the active military, reserves or national guard. Some of them will attend as many as nine different schools during their K-12 years.

Air Force Master Sgt. Thomas Yoder was at Beverly Gardens with his wife on Thursday. They have four children, including two in Mad River Schools, but they’ll be reassigned in three weeks to Hawaii.

“The biggest challenge is finding a school that will understand and work with the military,” Yoder said. “Knowing that we may have to move in the middle of a school year, for instance, or being able to accommodate a child that is going through stresses that are very unique to military children, such as deployments. … Those type of support systems being built into a school system help us out greatly.”

RELATED: Mad River among busiest open enrollment schools

Andrea Attaway Young is a school liaison officer with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, helping families make those transitions to find the right community and school, especially if a child has special needs.

”We don’t want to penalize these students who are transitioning in support of their parents, who are supporting our country,” she said.

Beavercreek City Schools officials said more than 10 percent of their students have a military parent on active duty, while nearly 40 percent have parents who work with the military in some capacity.

RELATED: Some of best, worst report card scores found locally

The district provides support through two Military Family Life Counselors, who offer individual and family life counseling, special events, and group sessions on relevant topics.

“Our district is so proud that Trebein Elementary received this award,” Beavercreek Superintendent Paul Otten said. “It reinforces our district’s commitment to welcome and support our military families.”

DeMaria said it’s especially important for schools to work with families moving from other states, to understand how a student’s previous courses fit into Ohio’s standards and graduation requirements. He said Ohio officials work with other states under the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children, to make sure those issues aren’t a burden.

RELATED: 42 percent of seniors shy of graduation level

Dozens of hands shot up Thursday when Mad River Superintendent Chad Wyen asked the Beverly Gardens students how many had a family member in the military. Wyen said 75 percent of the school’s students are “military-impacted.”

“Our relationship with Wright-Patt is very special … and we constantly celebrate our families here,” Wyen said, before turning to the students. “It’s your parents who protect our country, and that is so cool.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Dayton fast food workers threatened with knife
Dayton fast food workers threatened with knife

Police here are investigating after a man with a knife threatened Burger King workers.  The incident happened at the Burger King, 1401 N. Keowee Street, around 8:50 p.m. Saturday.  Dayton police are investigating the aggravated menacing complaint after workers said a man in the drive-through window was waving a knife and yelling about chicken...
Panhandler gets 20 cents, followed by court summons from police
Panhandler gets 20 cents, followed by court summons from police

Police here issued a summons to appear in court for a panhandling offense.  The Dayton police report states a 62-year-old man stepped off a curb and into the roadway to accept 20 cents from a vehicle around 4:30 p.m. Sunday in the 600 block of South Jefferson Street near U.S. 35 East. He was issued a summons to appear for a charge of distribution...
Forum: Solutions to Ohio opioid crisis should be ‘self-sustaining, repeatable’
Forum: Solutions to Ohio opioid crisis should be ‘self-sustaining, repeatable’

Dozens of people who are personally impacted by the opioid crisis gathered Sunday in Wilmington to discuss the issue in a unique forum hosted by Your Voice Ohio.  The conversation inside the municipal building on North South Street involved medical professionals, first-responders, parents who have lost children to opioid addiction and recovering...
Fairfield City Councilwoman leads the Butler-Warren Board of Realtors
Fairfield City Councilwoman leads the Butler-Warren Board of Realtors

For the second time in her long realtor career, Debbie Pennington will lead an area Board of Realtors. Last month, Pennington was named president for the Butler-Warren Board of Realtors for 2018, a year after she was the organization’s president-elect. The two-county board was founded in January 2015 after it merged with the Middletown, Warren...
Harrison Twp. deputy struck during traffic stop
Harrison Twp. deputy struck during traffic stop

A Montgomery County sheriff’s deputy was struck by a car fleeing a traffic stop, confirms emergency dispatchers.  The deputy’s right foot was run over in the 400 block of Shoup Mill Road, during a traffic stop at SVG Motors. The vehicle is reportedly a white GMC Yukon that fled the scene in the area of Foxton Court and Needmore...
More Stories