• School, community partnership rewarded

  • Fort Leavenworth and USD 207 wins award.

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    Fort Leavenworth and Unified School District 207 was presented the 2018 Recognized Community Partnership Award July 23 at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel in Washington, D.C.
    One of six Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Awards given this year, the award was presented during the Military Child Education Coalition’s 20th annual National Training Seminar July 23-25.
    The Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Awards were established in 2004 by the MCEC Board of Directors in recognition of retired Lt. Gen. H.G. “Pete” Taylor, MCEC founder and former chairman. According to the MCEC official website, Taylor had a key role in establishing partnerships between military installations and school districts that serve military children.
    “The award is designed to foster the sharing of lessons learned and to recognize the long-held belief of General Taylor that ‘goodness starts at the local level,’” said Shellie Campos, MCEC director of human resources.
    Garrison Commander Col. Marne Sutten, Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Williams, USD 207 Superintendent Keith Mispagel and School Liaison Officer Amanda Buckingham accepted the award on behalf of Fort Leavenworth and the district.
    “This award is significant not only to USD 207 but also the Fort Leavenworth community,” Mispagel said. “This award recognizes the strong partnership between the school district and post in what we do together as a team for our military families and students.”
    Known as Collaboration Breeds Success, the partnership between USD 207 and Fort Leavenworth includes the Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, and the Fort Leavenworth School Liaison Office.
    During the presentation of the award, Collaboration Breeds Success was noted as being collaborative, student and family focused and unwavering, creating programs and events such as the Parents as Teachers program in conjunction with Leavenworth’s USD 453, International Day and the annual Freedom Walk on Sept. 11.
    “The title of the partnership says it all. The collaboration between the installation, school district and community highlight the active support that they give to military-connected children and their families,” Campos said.
    “The International Day event celebrated diversity in a unique way. It embraces the culture of so many people that make up the Fort Leavenworth community.”
    Each year, partnerships submit their applications to include a 250-word summary of the partnership and its activities and a maximum eight-page description of the partnership activities. Each application is judged on seven areas:
    • Evidence of the partnership by demonstrating the commitment from the partners involved through publications and news articles.
    • The size and scope of the partnership listing the installation, surrounding school districts and community members involved.
    • The depth of the partnership including the number of pre-service teachers or students served, organizational communications and research reports.
    Page 2 of 2 - • Positive outcomes of the partnership including academic improvement, positive transitions and academic excellence.
    • Evidence of the partnership’s sustainability.
    • Origination of the idea by explaining how the project fosters creativity and innovation or ground-breaking ideas.
    • Current funding sources including donations, state grants, federal grants, Department of Defense Education Activity and other unique funding sources.
    The applications are initially scored by a panel of three to five judges and are then reviewed and selected by a final panel of three judges, Campos said.
    Mispagel was the one who initially found the award opportunity.
    “I’ve seen the award availability for the last couple of years,” Mispagel said. “Each time I’ve thought to myself, ‘there’s no better community partnership than USD 207 and Fort Leavenworth. We’d definitely be considered.’
    “But each time, I ran out of time to complete the application,” he said. “This time, believing the same selection to be true, I collaborated with (Fort Leavenworth) Garrison and Amanda to get it done. All were very supportive and influential in getting selected.”
    Mispagel said receiving the award will only enhance the efforts of Fort Leavenworth and the school district.
    “This award will bring the supporting recognition to what many have said is the ‘best hometown in the Army,’” he said. “This award signifies collaboration and partnership for this installation. We will continue to provide support, activities, quality programs and education as a school district and installation so our families that are here for only a year, or for many years, will experience the great things available right here in Fort Leavenworth and at USD 207.”
    For more information about the awards, visit www.militarychild.org.
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