Page 1

® the official magazine of the Military Child Education Coalition®



Volume 7 Issue 2



The Military Child Education Coalition

V ISION STATE M E N T : To serve as a model of positive leadership and advocacy for ensuring inclusive, quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children.



M ISSION STAT E M E N T : To ensure inclusive, quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition.

Military Child Education Coalition

G OAL S: 1.

Provide responsive and relevant support systems, resources, and products.


Expand the MCEC outreach through engagement, advocacy, and partnerships.


Execute a strategic communications plan.


Build a strong, sustainable, and financially sound organization. The Independent Charities Seal of Excellence is awarded to the members of Independent Charities of America and Local Independent Charities of America that have, upon rigorous independent review, been able to certify, document, and demonstrate on an annual basis that they meet the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness. These standards include those required by the U.S. Government for inclusion in the Combined Federal Campaign, probably the most exclusive fund drive in the world. Of the 1,000,000 charities operating in the United States today, it is estimated that fewer than 50,000, or 5 percent, meet or exceed these standards, and, of those, fewer than 2,000 have been awarded this Seal. Military Child Education Coalition®, MCEC®, and associated programs, institutes, trademarks and design elements are owned and licensed by the Military Child Education Coalition. TM/© 2013 Military Child Education Coalition. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of this magazine, in whole or in part, is authorized with appropriate acknowledgment of the source.

ON THE move Staff Cindy Simerly, Executive Editor Dr. Mary Keller, President/CEO/Managing Editor Susan Connolly, Contributing Editor Karen Kirk, Art Director

tableofcontents FE ATURES



family dynamics

MCEC Program and Institute Update

Parent to Parent programs are meeting needs in communities across the globe


2012 National Training Seminar Highlights Images and features from June 27-28 in Grapevine, Texas



Special Insert: Special Needs

Information to help military families adjust to new communities, promote the acceptance of students with different abilities, and develop plans for the future


Experience-based Learning and Teacher Preparation Camp Adventure Child and Youth Services – A model service learning program

Denotes Science Advisory Board Member

4 A Small Testament to a Community 5

Students Share Defining Moments

8 Introducing Staying Strong 10 From Mubarak to McGill 13 10 Minutes with Dr. Ken Ginsburg igniting the spark 14 Stories from the Field 17 Understanding = Appreciation 18 High School Rigor & Good Advice 20 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools 22 The St. George’s School Scholars Program what’s trending in education 34 The GeoSpace Zone 37 Overseas Moves Know Before You Go 40 Ready, Eager and Well-Prepared 45 College Completion policies & partnership 46 Spotlight on Kathy Ellis, BAE Systems Inc. 48 MCEC Connects with CGI America 49 A Class Act for Iowa’s Military-Connected Children 50 Post-Public Engagement Initiatives

ON THE move®


BOARD OF DIREC TORS Officers General (Ret) Benjamin Griffin, Chairman Dr. William “Bill” Harrison, Vice Chairman/Secretary The Honorable Valerie Baldwin, Vice Chairman David G. Henry, Vice Chairman Robert “Bob” Utley, Vice Chairman Brigadier General (Ret) Robert “Bob” Gaylord, Treasurer Members Renee Bostick Beth Chiarelli Barbara Day The Honorable Chet Edwards Dawn Goldfein Patti Hunzeker Lil Ingram Dr. Rich Lerner Kathleen O’Beirne Command Sergeant Major (Ret) Mark S. Ripka Cathe Robling Patricia “Patty” Shinseki Brigadier General (Ret) Earl Simms Ed Van Buren Joyce Ward Members Emeriti Cathy Franks Lieutenant General (Ret) Don Jones Dr. James Mitchell Robert “Bob” Ray Mary Jo Reimer Sandy Schwartz General (Ret) Thomas A. “Tom” Schwartz Lieutenant General (Ret) H.G. “Pete” Taylor Zoe Trautman NATIONAL ADVISORY COM M I T T E E Ms. Charlene Austin The Honorable Carolyn H. Becraft Mr. Douglas Belair General (Ret) and Mrs. B.B. Bell (Katie) The Honorable and Mrs. John Carter (Erika) Mr. Ed Casey General (Ret) Peter Chiarelli Admiral (Ret) and Mrs. Walter Doran (Ginny) Ms. Lea Ann Edwards General (Ret) and Mrs. Larry R. Ellis (Jean) Lieutenant General (Ret) and Mrs. Phil Ford (Kris) General (Ret) Tommy R. Franks Command Sergeant Major (Ret) and Mrs. William J. Gainey (Cindy) Major General (Ret) and Mrs. Mark R. Hamilton (Patty) Lieutenant General (Ret) Charles R. Heflebower Rear Admiral (Ret) and Mrs. Leenert Hering (Sharon) General (Ret) and Mrs. James T. Hill (Toni) Lieutenant General William Ingram Major General (Ret) and Mrs. Robert Ivany (Marianne) Mr. Gary Knell General (Ret) and Mrs. Leon J. LaPorte (Judy) General (Ret) and Mrs. David McKiernan (Carmen) Mr. Drayton McLane, Jr. General (Ret) and Mrs. Duncan McNabb (Linda) Lieutenant General (Ret) and Mrs. Thomas Metz (Pam) General (Ret) and Mrs. Richard Myers (Mary Jo) General (Ret) Dennis J. Reimer Mr. Matthew “Matt” Rogers Mr. Ali Saadat General (Ret) and Mrs. Henry H. Shelton (Carolyn) Lieutenant General (Ret) Stephen M. Speakes Lieutenant General (Ret) George J. Trautman III Dr. Philip “Uri” Treisman

2 ON THE move®


I want to extend a special greeting to those involved in the Military Child Education Coalition — staff, volunteers, members and supporters. You’re each vital to our mission of meeting the educational needs of MilitaryConnected Children and their Families. We are truly blessed to have the finest group of folks pulling together to support a common cause. We have been very successful in reaching out to an ever-expanding population of military families, educators, individuals, and corporate  sponsors. We continue to receive strong support and involvement with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Guard, Reserves, and the Coast Guard. I’m happy to share with you that we are also moving forward to better serve our Nation’s Veterans and the needs of their children. As a part of that effort, we are growing much closer ties with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as we establish MCEC programs and support for families of the Veterans who require treatment at VA Regional Trauma Centers.  We remain extremely proud that 92 cents of every dollar contributed to MCEC goes directly to support the mission of the organization and ultimately the Military Child — a standard we must sustain and always strive to improve upon. At the same time we are very sensitive to the challenges the Military Services, Coast Guard, and VA face in the area of constrained budgets. We recognize there is an ever growing population of students with needs whom we seek to support. Our great hurdle is to find new ways and sources of funding to sustain and expand our programs to support those needs. The coming year will present new challenges and opportunities for us to serve our most important asset — the Military Child.   Thanks again for your untiring support. You are making a difference! General (Ret) Benjamin Griffin, USA Chairman of the Board, Military Child Education Coalition

The Military Child Education Coalition invites you to be a part of our th National Training Seminar


July 8-9, 2013 Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center National Harbor, Maryland

Save the Date! Volume 7 Issue 2


Education is a topic of intense discussion and debate in our Nation as we seek to inspire all students while facing economic recovery and budget shortfalls. Our country’s future depends on qualified, well-educated citizens in order to remain truly competitive in a global marketplace. Dedicated professionals are committed to finding new ways to propel our students to the top tier while reinforcing the qualities that have made America a leader in education.

M C E C O F F I C E STA F F (254) 953-1923 • (254) 953-1925 (fax) 909 Mountain Lion Circle Harker Heights, Texas 76548

Dr. Mary M. Keller President and Chief Executive Officer

Lieutenant General (Ret) Lanny Trapp Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer

Greg Cook Director, Research, Evaluation, and Technology

At the MCEC, we are determined to advocate for our military-connected students who, through their parent’s service to the country, have contributed to the rich tapestry of our Nation’s story. By developing unique approaches such as the Military Student Transition Consultant (MSTC) Program, we address the concerns of our military families with a cooperative model between the family and the school. Each MSTC coordinates support efforts to assess needs, builds awareness of resources, and provides a connection between students, their families, and possible solutions.

Stacey Smith, Ph. D.c Lead of Evaluation and Research Dr. Jim D. Prock Director, Fund Development

Shellie Campos, PHR Director, Human Resources and Contracting

Michael Gravens Director, Communications, Marketing and Membership

Identifying ways to support our military-connected students is the heart of our mission. We are so very grateful for your participation and partnership in that effort! In the coming year we look forward to providing more resources and building relationships that strengthen our families and enable our Service men and women to rest assured we are working together…for the sake of the child. Dr. Mary M. Keller President and CEO, Military Child Education Coalition

Cindy Simerly Chief of Marketing

Dr. Sandy Franklin Chief of Curriculum Development

Stayce Parry Chief of Programs and Services

Denise Montana-Graham Chief of Logistics

Juan Garcia, CPA Comptroller

Annette Nelson, J.D. Staff Counsel


“Overcoming the Challenges We Face” Artwork by Lauren, Grade 12 Hohenfels Middle High School, Hohenfels, Germany | U.S. Army

Lauren writes: My artwork represents the challenge military members and their family members face. The boxes are there to show that military families are constantly on the move. Each of the people climbing up represents something different. The red, white, and blue one is for how military members defend the country, the yellow one is for the yellow ribbon, the camouflage one represents all of the service members, and the one with words depicts what the military is to me.

ON THE move® 3

Cl i c khe r e t oRe g i s t e r

HANNAH COX Enterprise High School

In the early afternoon of Thursday, March 1, 2007, Enterprise, Alabama was hit by a devastating tornado during the February-March 2007 Tornado Outbreak. The tornado caused nine deaths, injured over 121 others, and left severe damage, becoming the worst disaster in Enterprise history. The worst damage occurred at Enterprise High School, where eight students died after one hallway was almost completely destroyed. The National Guard was called into the city, and a dusk-to-dawn curfew was implemented immediately after the disaster. President Bush, who arrived the morning of Saturday, March 3, declared the county a disaster area. As of June 2008 the Hillcrest Elementary School – which was destroyed during the tornado – was being rebuilt at the same site as the Enterprise High School. I, in the middle of all of the disaster, was a sixth grader attending an elementary school a mile or so away from the tornado site. Because the other elementary school, beside our high school was destroyed, those students had to come to our school for the rest of the year. We went to class from 8-12 and they went from 1-5. We had the opportunity to share what we had with other faculty and students, just as our community had to share homes, churches, and offer up time to help clean up and serve others. What the disaster made not only me, but the whole community realize, was that “We may not have it all together, but together, we have it all!”

JESSIC A WOMACK Fort Walton Beach High School

My parents have always raised me to be a very self assured individual, so to me moving just meant saying goodbye to old friends and saying hello to new ones. It was always a very positive experience. That is until eighth grade

year when I was enrolled in a school that was not willing to accept me in any way because I was different than them. Instead of riding dirt bikes, I swung golf clubs for fun. Instead of listening to the latest band, I rocked out to smooth jazz. Because of this they were not willing to accept me as one of them, which became very clear when I realized I was the only straight A student in my grade that wasn’t allowed to be a part of their National Junior Honor Society because I did not receive an invitation. Going into Fort Walton Beach High School made me truly appreciative of being surrounded by kids who genuinely cared and held genuine concern for their new students. With their help I was able to regain

every ounce of self assurance and confidence that was taken from me and use it to make a difference in the life of a little boy. A little boy whose father recently lost his job and whose mother had recently given birth to twin baby girls, one of which had a hole in her heart. The family was struggling to make ends meet, and with the help of my new found Student 2 Student (S2S) friends, we were able to deliver food and presents to them during the holiday season. I noticed that night that we weren’t just giving that little boy a Christmas dinner and gifts, we were giving him hope. The same care and concern we showed to him was the same that was shown to me by the members of S2S, and that is what the organization of S2S is about: genuine care, genuine concern, and using that to change lives one student at a time.

ON THE move® 5



S2S members volunteered hours in the 2011-2012

DINEESHA JONES Shoemaker High School

My life hasn’t always been filled with positive experiences, but my painful past shaped me into the person I am today. Life didn’t start making its way into something until I realized that I could become more than what I was. My childhood is made up of the stuff you see in movies. But you see, my story is very real. A drug addict mother, whom I love with all my heart, because she is my family and we stood by each other, through thick and thin. She stole from us to feed her habit, but worked hard to put a roof over our head. The only thing I knew of my father was the money he would send, when he sent it. There were nights not knowing if we’d eat, nights with no water or electricity, and nights, wondering if mom would ever, make it home. But we survived. People would write me off as the girl who would be pregnant at 16 - a future drop out and a welfare case. I proved them wrong. I’ve experienced child protective services, foster care, and a host of other things a young woman, shouldn’t have to at my age, but I am a survivor. I have to look at the bright side of my struggles. I qualify for financial aid for any college in the State of Texas where I am accepted, and I do plan on graduating from college. See, my name is Dineesha Jones and I am a child that went through a lot. My past has made me who I am today, and I choose to embrace that past to motivate me for the future. I believe there is a reason for everything, and I will work hard to become everything I wasn’t supposed to be. B E N J A M I N SCOT T I I Steilacoom High School

This past November, I attended the Frances Hesselbein Student Leadership program at the military academy at West Point. There was a part of my experience there that has had an everlasting affect on me. It was a history tour of the campus and historical sites of the previous instrumental military base during the victory of the Revolutionary War. One of the stops was the Old Cadet Chapel and the cemetery. In order to be buried at that cemetery, you have to have been a West Point cadet and died in the field of battle. Our tour guide was a history teacher, a young Major there and had an emotional connection to the cemetery. She shared with us that during her years as a cadet at West Point, she had a Plebe to look after. According to the Major, her Plebe, a young and smart woman, was amazing and was a great leader, solider, and most of all, friend. After only a year out of West Point, at the age of 23, she (the younger Plebe) was deployed to Iraq. During her deployment, her humvee was hit by a roadside bomb. She looked down to see that her body from the waist down was gone. She died a slow and painful death, on the comfortless foreign sands. Our guide finished her story, walking off towards the War on Terror section of the cemetery. She rejoined us minutes later, eyes filled with tears. She had paid her respects. It was at that moment when I knew of what I would do the rest of my life. Whether it meant combating the domestic battleground of a high school lunch room, or joining the military myself, I will help serve this great nation in some way, shape, or form.

6 ON THE move®

Volume 7 Issue 2

over 18,000 community service school year. BY JOSHUA LEONARD Falcon High School

In high school, my dad, an officer in the Air Force, was deployed for a year. Being the oldest of three boys, I had to step up and take charge. I had to start doing the things my dad would normally do-such as replacing the headlights on the car or helping my little brothers fix their bikes. I knew I wasn’t a replacement for my dad, but I still wanted to keep life as close to normal as I could. I picked up my dad’s hard work ethic and leadership style over the years as he has always been my role model and mentor. A few months into my dad’s deployment, I noticed that I had begun doing random chores and housework without being asked, just to help out my mom and younger brothers. While helping out a lot at home, I kept a full plate at school as well. When my dad left for Afghanistan, he reminded me to keep doing the things I had a passion for. These included things like soccer, where I was chosen to be our team’s captain, and being a part of my JROTC program, where I took on multiple leadership positions. I learned to manage my time. I learned that you develop teamwork by being a team player. And mostly I learned that to be an effective leader you have to work harder than anyone else. These school opportunities combined with my increased role to help at home really opened my eyes to how much work goes into being a leader. I learned firsthand that a good leader isn’t to be that person out front; a good leader is someone who looks for ways to serve others and reach their common goals by working hard together. Since that time of my dad’s deployment, I have done whatever I can to help someone in hopes of returning their life to normal. It’s one of the reasons I joined Student 2 Student – because I know what it’s like to be that new kid in school and I wanted to give back and help others. I know this experience has changed the way I look at things – especially those around me. And even after my dad returned safely from his deployment, I continue to find new ways to challenge myself to become that better leader, that better servant to those around me.

Helping Others

Find Their Way BY A N N A D E L C A ST I L LO Ocean Springs High School, Frances Hesselbein Student Leadership Program Alumna

I will never forget the day that Astris walked into my Spanish class. She was wearing a familiar Aeropostale t-shirt, blue jeans and Converse. The typical all-American attire of a high school student. Although dressed similarly to everyone else, her attire could not hide her obvious foreignness. Astris was a new student from Nicaragua who barely spoke any English. Many students made fun of her differences, making the transition to the new school even more difficult. She did not know where the lunchroom was; let alone who she should eat with. She was lost and frustrated and she needed someone to show her the way. In my life, leadership has been inspiring others to find their voice. As a leader in my school, I have used my abilities to try to bring out the best in others which, to me, is the most rewarding aspect of leadership. I remember attending my first S2S meeting and thinking, “Wow, this club will be fun!” Little did I know that this club would soon change my life and shape me into who I am today. I am a threeyear member of the OSHS S2S club and I serve as the Vice President. S2S is important to me because it allows me to do what I love most, and that is to help others find their way…I have a passion for what this program stands for and what its intentions are. There is nothing I love more than watching a new student’s eyes brighten up with gratitude from even the smallest things such as showing them to their class. Like Astris, there are many new students who need to find their way, and I believe that together we can walk the journey hand in hand. As Dave Matthews said, “I’ll lean on you, and you’ll lean on me, and we’ll be okay.” Everybody needs someone to lean on, and if we all offer a shoulder, then no one will ever fall.

Ocean Springs’ S2S club sponsored a “Senior Prom” and hosted senior citizens from a local nursing home.

ON THE move® 7



“Special Needs” is a broad term under which many different conditions and diagnoses can fall. The designation can

range from fairly mild learning disorders to severe impairments, serious illnesses, and physical disabilities. A “Special Needs” classification can be helpful in finding specific services and assistance and, ultimately, in meeting the needs of both the child and his or her family. On the following pages we provide information to help our military families adjust to new communities, promote the acceptance of students with different abilities, and develop plans for the future.


Moving overseas

with a special needs child

Military families with special needs children face unique challenges and opportunities. This is particularly true when the active duty member is being considered for overseas or isolated duty. In the United States there exists a model of support for special needs families. The responsibility is divided by the private, medical, social/community (i.e local and federal community professionals and programs), and educational services. This combination provides families with the needed support to minimize stress and optimize outcomes for children with special health care needs. For the majority of families that travel overseas, the existing support systems established by the Outside of the Continental US (OCONUS) bases are sufficient to help them cope with the added stresses of moving abroad. Families who have a special needs child can quickly realize that some of the services they relied on in the states are not as readily available overseas. Germany is often viewed as a location that can support all ranges of children with a developmental delay. Prior to my move here, as a developmental pediatrician and special needs coordinator, I had that perception that Lundsthal Medical Center as a tertiary care facility could provide all the services that are available at larger bases in the Continental United States (CONUS). Despite being able to accommodate more special needs families than some of the smaller bases in the region, here are some additional factors that need to be considered prior to moving overseas with a special needs child.


Medical Services. With the promotion of the medical home, children are now more than ever able to see their primary care physician and less likely to be referred downtown for general medical needs. However, when children need to be seen by specialty care professionals, this often requires that the family receive medical support from host nation medical physicians. Families frequently become frustrated as they navigate the foreign medical system due to language barriers and different treatment philosophies. Civilians who work overseas understand these challenges as they strive to find a physician on the economy who can meet even their general medical needs, since many military medical facilities do not have the space available to treat non-active duty dependents (Tricare prime).


Respite Care. Families of special needs children have often cited securing financial support for respite care as one of the biggest challenges to overcome in obtaining family services. The respite care system for the US Army is limited due to the overwhelming demand of English speaking care providers and Child Development Centers at maximum capacity. There currently is not an equivalent Air Force Overseas Respite Program. As a result, many families are unable to utilize this valuable service now more commonly available at CONUS bases.


Community Support. Most CONUS bases are surrounded by a host of local, state, or federal agencies for special needs families that a military family with a special need child can utilize. This allows the family to simultaneously utilize both

military and community support as they care for their child. When living overseas, families rely solely upon base support which is often established for all children. Few families are able to successfully utilize the limited host nation community supports, thus restricting the options for services, which can leave the families to feel isolated. System navigators or family support positions have been established solely to help families connect to the available resources.


Child Care / Preschool Services. Finding child care is challenging for the majority of families needing this service when they arrive overseas. This is reported to be even more difficult for families with a special needs child. Children with developmental delays benefit from interacting with same age peers in preschool educational settings. With language barriers and the challenges of having limited regular day care, these experiences are difficult to be established.


Early Intervention Early Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS). Early Intervention EDIS is a program established to mirror the state run early intervention program for children 0-3 years of life. The programs help find and support families who are eligible for intervention. This is an excellent service for families who have children that meet eligibility requirements for services. This parent education direct service is intended to complement and not be a substitute for children who benefit from weekly community/ hospital based physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy. Continued after the insert >>

ST: 6 ON THE move速

MCEC Special Topic

ERIC M. FL AKE M D, FA A P Major, US Air Force Chief Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, Ramstein, Germany


Autism Services. Autism is a specific disorder that requires additional attention. Tricare offers additional services (up to $36,000/year) through enrollment in Extended Care Health Options (ECHO) to provide critical standard of care behavioral intervention for children with autism. Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy is very limited overseas. Furthermore, the Autism Demonstration project, which allows families on average 15-20 hours per week of direct behavioral intervention, is not available overseas. Assistive Technology (AT) is a term used As a result, very few families with a child diagnosed with autism are able to describe tools or devices and services to take advantage of this tremendous service. (Given the evidenced that enable a student to engage more fully in typical activities and routines at based medicine supporting behavioral intervention in autism, it is the home, school, or in the community. These author’s opinion that any child under the age of 6 with a diagnosis of tools provide support the student needs to autism or suspicion of autism should not go overseas, and that parent overcome or work around limitations. is encouraged to seek these services within the United States).


Mental Health Services. Many of the larger medical treatment facilities maintain basic child behavior health services. However, the staffing is such that they are not designed to manage complex chronic disorders. The overseas child mental health services have been put in place to work through short term challenges which may come up during an overseas tour of duty. As a result, upon reaching treatment capacity, the limited base mental health services then direct families to rely on host nation mental health services.


Additional challenges that need to be considered include long waiting times for base housing (up to 2 years), discomfort of driving in a foreign country, and overall additional stressors that come from living in a foreign country. As an advocate for children with special needs, I feel that it is the responsibility of all those that support families of children to provide them with the best services available and educate families so that they are empowered to advocate for their child. I am finding that families overseas who have a special needs child are required to make choices and at times sacrifice receiving recommended interventions for their child. The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is designed to identify families who will likely have a positive overseas experience by being able to meet their medical and educational needs. Items such as childcare, respite care, community services, and need for using host nation services typically are not utilized to determine how a family will fit into their new overseas location. All these items have a tremendous impact on family well-being and should be considered as a family looks into overseas assignments.

Common AT accommodations at a postsecondary institution could include:

Computer access such as an alternative mouse or keyboard, text-to-speech application, or speech recognition software;

Lecture assistance to include a sign language interpreter, note taking assistance, a digital recorder, or a computer for taking notes;

• Personal organization tools; • Studying or learning tools such as graphic organizer software or computer files provided by the instructor; • Test-taking modifications to include extended time, change in testing environment, oral testing, and use of a computer; •

Subject-specific tools such as accessible math software, talking calculator, audio books, scan-andread software and pen, screen magnifier, or a scribe. (Hess, Gutierrez, & Smith, 2009)

ON THE move®

ST: 7

Cl i c khe r e t ob e c o me ame mb e r

OTM Highlights  

OTM Highlights