HONOLULU - 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 15th Annual Meeting today at the Hawaii Convention 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.
“Military-dependent children often need additional support as their families relocate over time and as their parents are deployed overseas,”said HIDOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “JVEF is a positive partnership between our local military and our public schools and our work is dedicated to mitigating these unique challenges to keep our students on track.”
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.
“If we add the impact of combat deployments and extended parental absences, our military families can feel left behind, they can even feel alone,”said LTG Anthony Crutchfield. “Luckily, we have a forum for all of us to come together to express our concerns and look for solutions as partners.”
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 JVEF Outstanding Civilian Contributor Commendation Award was made to Ms. Leilani Reyes of Aliamanu Elementary and Ms. Cherise Imai, Executive Director of the Military Interstate Compact Children’s Commission. Reyes was honored for her work as Parent Community Networking Center Facilitator and Transition Center Coordinator, for her coordination of the school’s four military branch partners and for her organization of the school’s Annual Military Appreciation Parade each May. Imai was honored for over a decade of service as HIDOE’s Military Liaison, for her coordination of JVEF activities and her work in procuring federal Impact Aid funding to reimburse school districts impacted by a federal presence annually. The Outstanding Civilian Contributor Commendation Award was renamed this year in honor of the late Representative K. Mark Takai.
US Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander John A. Goshorn received the JVEF Outstanding Military Contributor Commendation Award for his coordination of two SeaPerch and MATE underwater robotics events for schools at Coast Guard Base Honolulu. 23 schools and 131 students participated, building submersible robots and navigating them through underwater obstacle courses. LCDR Goshorn is now a Professor of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the US Coast Guard Academy. The Outstanding Military Contributor Commendation Award was renamed this year in honor of the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye.
For more details on JVEF, Impact Aid and military-impacted schools in Hawaii, visit HIDOE’s Military Families website.