Awards cap off Military Child Month

Community recognizes school district for Purple Star award

The Maine Street fountain was dyed purple last week to recognize the Month of the Military Child.

The Maine Street fountain was dyed purple last week to recognize the Month of the Military Child.
Photo by Steve Ranson.

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF
Although he had a tour in Fallon almost 20 years ago, the naval air station’s new commanding officer arrived at right time during the Month of the Military Child.
Capt. Shane Tanner attended a downtown fountain dyeing last week with local military dependent children, the Churchill County School District and the city of Fallon. All five Fallon schools each received a Purple Star designation as did the school district, the first in Nevada to do so. Every year the Purple Star recognizes schools for their commitment to military families and their dependents who attend grades K-12. The award is given only when the schools check off every qualification in their application.
The school district and the five schools each individually received their Purple Star this week, beginning with the school district’s central office.
April is both the 35th anniversary of the Month of the Military Child and the 75th anniversary of the founding of DoDEA (Department of Defense Education Activity).  School-aged children either have one or both parents currently serving in uniform or have retired.
Tanner said it nice day to learn of the award.
“What a great way to begin my tour as the CO (commanding officer) of Fallon,” he said. “It was a chance to meet Mayor (Ken) Tedford along with the children of the Churchill County School District and to congratulate them on the Purple Star award. It’s good for Naval Air Station Fallon, the community and Churchill County schools, and it’s a huge award for Nevada. I appreciate the moment.”

Steve Ranson/LVN
Mayor Ken Tedford, left, reads a proclamation to children declaring April as the Month of the Military Child.

Tanner said the Purple Star designation for the entire school district reinforces the growing tie between the air station and community, and he sees this honor as strengthening and growing over the years.
During his career, Tanner has experienced a number of moves and new schools, both in the continental United States and overseas. He said the Purple Star reinforces the school district and its commitment. As the air station’s commander, he looks at the award as both a provider and customer of the school district.
“My wife is a teacher, and she taught both for both local school districts in California, Virginia and Texas, and she taught for DODDS (Department of Defense Dependents Schools) in Naples and in Japan,” he said.
When a service member from any branch of the military receives orders to move, Tanner said one of the first questions from families focuses on the schools.
“How are the schools? Are they military friendly,” Tanner pointed out.
Because of the Purple Star award, Tanner said families will look online, see the Purple Star designation and say “I’m going to Fallon.”
Tanner said military children experience a diverse life and different cultures.
A benefit to attending a Purple Star school is the understanding teachers and support personnel have learned about the military way of life.
“They understand the deployments,” he said.

Steve Ranson/LVN
Mayor Ken Tedford, right, and Naval Air Station Capt. Shane Tanner hold a proclamation declaring April as the Month of the Military Child.

Tanner said the children and their families also learn of the different education styles and extracurricular activities.
“All schools added more training for staff and have been brainstorming and developing more engagements for children and families as they arrive in our schools and throughout the year,” said Superintendent Summer Stephens. “We also have developed an ongoing website full of resources and are developing support and engagement parent groups to help inform our practices at each site.”
Although Stephens is not aware of any recertification requirements, she and her staff are looking at different ways to add support, foster new ideas, keep new staff trained and guide staff teams.
“We are extremely proud of our staff and love our families and children,” she said.
Nicole Jullanant, NAS Fallon’s school liaison officer, said she serves on the Purple Star school committee.
“We are the first district from the state to receive that designation,” she said. “Being in a military family myself, I appreciate the schools for their effort to show support.”
Jullanant said the committee wants to see if the school district has assembled its own military committee and if the staff members are taking additional training in the lifestyle and culture of the military children and their families.
“It’s an extra effort to support them,” she said of the school district’s role with the military families.
Not only does the school district support the Navy, but all other military families associate with the Naval Reserve, the National Guard or other services assigned to the air station such as the U.S. Air Force or Marines.
Tedford agrees.
“It’s important because it shows the school district’s support,” he said. “It shows community support for the military and military children who are in our school system and community.”
Tedford, who has also made the city’s goal to support the military during his tenure as mayor, said the award shows a broader support of the military as a whole.
With the fountain dyeing and school awards this week, Tedford said April has been memorable.
“It’s really a nice way to cap off the Military Child Month,” he said.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment