The Joint Venture Education Forum (JVEF), a cooperative partnership between Hawaii's military community, the Hawaii Department of Education (HIDOE) and other community organizations, highlighted success stories of Hawaii's military students and their families at its 17th Annual Meeting today at The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. JVEF's mission is to facilitate the educational concerns and unique needs of military children and their families, such as transitioning to the islands, and to support Hawaii's public school students.
"The JVEF partnership between the Department of Education and Hawaii's military leadership continues to transform our schools in positive ways on behalf of our military-impacted students," said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. "Transition Centers have become a vital part of our school designs and welcome all incoming students, especially those who are transitioning from other locations, to ensure that have social supports in place when they arrive so they can remain focused on academic achievement."
Hawaii has the highest number of military-dependent children per capita in the nation, representing approximately 15,000 students or eight-percent of the total student enrollment. The majority of these students attend 45 schools located on or near military installations in Oahu's Central, Leeward and Windward School Districts.
"Quality public schools is a very significant issue for our military families, and the Joint Venture Education Forum partnership between the military community in Hawaii and the Hawaii Department of Education has truly strengthened our collective efforts to provide quality education opportunities for all Hawaii's public school students," said CAPT Lyn Hammer, Hawaii State Board of Education Military Liaison.
Awards were presented recognizing JVEF's outstanding civilian and military contributors whose efforts have had a significant impact on Hawaii's military and public school students.
A joint presentation of the 2018 Daniel K. Inouye JVEF Outstanding Military Contributor Commendation Award was made to Mr. Dennis Drake, US Army COL (Ret.), Director of Public Affairs at US Army Garrison Hawaii and US Army Hawaii. Mr. Drake has proudly served on the JVEF Committee for ten years. In 2010, he spearheaded the JVEF Strategic Communications Plan to promote Hawaii's public schools and worked to improve school partnerships with Army units and personnel.
The 2018 K. Mark Takai Outstanding Civilian Contributor Commendation Award was made to Mrs. Renee Mulberry from Leilehua High School. Ms. Mulberry has been instrumental in the establishment and operation of Leilehua High's Transition Center. She has hosted visiting delegations from other schools statewide to share best practices and assist in starting up new Transition Centers on other campuses. Mrs. Mulberry also mentors students to ensure that they can achieve up to their academic potential.
43 military servicemen and women were also recognized for their dedicated volunteer work at Hawaii schools, serving as mentors for military-impacted students of all ages.
For more details on JVEF, Impact Aid and military-impacted schools in Hawaii, visit HIDOE's Military Families website.