The Ohio Department of Education announced Monday (April 17, 2023) that Cambridge Middle School was selected as a Purple Star School for their commitment to serving military-connected students and family.
The Purple Star Class of 2023
includes 165 Ohio schools that received Purple Star designations. Cambridge Middle School was one of 88 schools that received the esteemed award for the first time while 77 schools earned a renewal after three years as dedicated Purple Star Schools.
Cambridge High School earned a Purple Star School designation in 2022.
“To be successful in school and when transitioning between school settings, Ohio’s military-connected youth require supports to ensure their unique social, emotional and academic needs are met,” Dr. Stephanie Siddens, Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Ohio. “The Purple Star award your school is receiving signifies your school’s demonstrated commitment to serving these students and families.”
Under the leadership of Jennifer Luallen, Cambridge Middle School applied to the Ohio Department of Education to become a Purple Star School.
“This recognition shows our school’s support and pride not only to our community but to our state,” Luallen said. “All of the Veterans that make an impact on our students and staff members contribute to our Bobcat Pride. Some of the Veterans may have never been Cambridge community members, but their time spent serving the military has helped shape each Bobcat that currently graces the halls of CMS.”
Luallen’s involvement in applying for the Purple Star School recognition grows out of her involvement with the Honor Flight fundraiser at the Middle School and visiting with Veterans during the eighth-grade trip to Washington D.C.
In a follow up conversation with Principal Heath Hayes, she heard about the High School earning Purple Star School recognition and agreed to spearhead the school’s application process.
Ohio’s Purple Star Advisory Board established a set of important criteria that schools must meet in order to be considered for a Purple Star designation. Each Purple Star designation is valid for three years.
Cambridge Middle School supports military-connected students and families in many ways including a Military Connection
page on the district’s website that provides easy access to resources both within the school and in the local community.
In addition to supporting military-connected students, the district tries to educate students about the military and the men and women who have served or are presently serving.
“I believe part of what we should do as a school district is to help our students understand what being a Veteran means and why we celebrate Veterans Day and Memorial Day,” Superintendent Dan Coffman said. “One of the ways we can help them understand is to provide appropriate education and provide students with experiences like taking them to the Veteran’s Day Parade.”
During April, Cambridge Middle School and High School joined with other schools to celebrate the Month of the Military Child In April, Ohio and the nation will celebrate the Month of the Military Child
This is a time to recognize the sacrifices that military service members and their families make for the security and safety of the nation. Across the nation, states, communities, and schools celebrate in many ways, including wearing purple.
Cambridge City School District also started a Military Honor Wall
on its website this month that will highlight alumni, current students that have enlisted, and staff members who served or are currently serving in the military.