COLUMBUS -- Mifflin Elementary, Shelby Middle School and Ashland High School were among 37 Ohio Schools that will receive the Purple Star Award this school year, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria announced on Wedneseday.
The award recognizes a school’s demonstrated commitment to serving students and families connected to the United States armed forces and Ohio National Guard. The list of new honorees is available on the Ohio Department of Education’s Purple Star Designee webpage. The complete list of winners can be found at this link
“We want to honor the important sacrifices Ohio’s military families make while recognizing the school communities that support them,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “Purple Star Schools are intentional in their efforts to bolster our service members and their families. Their commitment to supporting those who serve provides a great model for students, showing them how Ohioans work together and care for one another.”
To meet the requirements for the Purple Star Award, schools must designate a liaison between military-connected students and their families and the school. The liaison works with teachers to support the military-connected students in their classrooms and helps to ensure military families and students have access to necessary considerations and resources.
“We are very proud to recognize the Purple Star schools today for their dedication to creating a military- family friendly learning environment,” said DeMaria. “Having a family member in the military can be challenging for children. I’m inspired by the way these schools have rallied around service members and their families, and I’m grateful for what they are doing to support those who serve our country.”
There are approximately 35,000 military-connected students in Ohio, including the children and siblings of members of the United States armed forces and Ohio National Guard.
The Purple Star Advisory Board — formed by the Ohio departments of Education, Higher Education, Veterans Services and Adjutant General—helps determine school eligibility.
Mifflin Elementary of Madison Local was selected as one of these recipient schools. Led by the Purple Star Committee, Mifflin Elementary made various connections within the community; examples include hosting a community project with the 179th Airlift Wing, a Veterans Day musical, and having a building-themed month honoring our servicemen and servicewomen.
In the future, Mifflin Elementary hopes to expand its commitment to military stakeholders through hosting a virtual breakfast with military families, creating a “Purple Up Day” during April’s Military Appreciation Month, and creating small groups for military youth to connect with one another.
"The students and staff of Mifflin Elementary are proud to support our military families and are honored by the distinction of receiving the Purple Star. The shared energy and drive at Mifflin Elementary continues to be highly visible throughout the building, and we hope that our efforts have provided a comfort to our military youth," Mifflin principal Nathan Stump said. "This school year, we will continue our mission to support these students and their families, one that starts with a deep appreciation for their service."