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Carol Flenard, Prince William County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent, receives the Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award from U.S. Marine Corps Col. Michael L. Brooks, commanding officer, Marine Corps Base Quantico at The Clubs of Quantico, Sept. 9, 2022. The Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award recognizes successful partnerships and projects that ultimately benefit military-connected children. Prince William County Schools’ dedication to “Providing A World-Class Education” focuses learning and achieving exacting standards that support the academic, social, and emotional needs of all students. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Eric Huynh)

Photo by Cpl. Eric Huynh

Prince William County Schools awarded the Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award

16 Sep 2022 | Lance Cpl. Jeffery D. Stevens Marine Corps Base Quantico

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – The Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award was presented to Prince William County School Division in appreciation of the collaboration with Marine Corps Base Quantico and PWCS for the “PWCS Goes Purple” project; a program which meets the needs of military-connected students and their families.

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. “Pete” Taylor, founder of the Military Child Education Coalition, believed “Goodness starts at the local level.” The award recognizes successful partnerships formed between military installations and the local communities which benefit military-connected children in grades K-12.

“Prince William County was awarded the Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award for community projects,” said Kimberly Simpson, school liaison officer, MCB Quantico. “Their project was called ‘PWCS Goes Purple’, which essentially wants all of the schools in Prince William County to become Purple Star designated.”

The Purple Star School Program is designed to help military-connected children navigate the educational and emotional challenges they may face when transitioning to a new school. This is accomplished by helping students keep up-to-date on missed school material, setting them up with counselors, and making sure their basic needs are met.

“Military kids may not be in the school system from beginning to end,” said Andrea Bailey, district supervisor, PWCS, “they may rotate in for about three years and then go to a different environment, and so the continuity of their education process has to be focused upon,” she continued.

“PWCS Goes Purple”, is designed to educate and impact the entire PWCS community and to prepare and equip schools to welcome military students and their families.

“Colonel Brooks was the driving force behind it,” said Bailey. “I know with his job, it’s very important that he understands, and that we understand, that the county and the Marine Corps base is important.”

Col. Brooks, who attended the ceremony and presented the award to PWCS, believes the program has a solid foundation; Quantico will continue to support and address the needs of military-connected children and their families.

“We contributed our liaisons, our support, our guidance, and our endorsement,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Michael L. Brooks, commander, MCB Quantico. “Prince William County understands the need to help military children. Not only do they understand it, but they're moving in a direction to address those needs.”

PWCS includes 92 schools with over 98,000 students, which includes 5,000 military-connected children.

“The schools have always been there to support students,” said Dr. Carol Flenard, deputy superintendent, PWCS. “We try to meet social and emotional needs, but I think the difference now, is highlighting the specificity of the needs of the military child.”

Although the program has been running less than a year, 22 schools are now Purple Star designated. Moving forward, the goal is that all 96 schools in the PWCS division will commit to military families by initiating a Purple Star School Program.

“It is about the entire community. It’s about making the world a better place,” said Flenard. “Education is a service profession as well, because we’re humans, we believe in each other, and we can make a difference.”

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