There's no doubt that military families have it tough. The average military family moves about every 3 years and each move can be especially difficult for children.
11 educators and role models were honored with the Education Appreciation Award for the impact that they have had on the lives of students. Aimee & Hailey Price were dealt a tough hand when they had to relocate to Bay County a few years ago--- leaving their friends and everlasting friendships behind.
"She had such a hard time making friends, understanding why she had to move." Military spouse Heather Price says. "In first grade I got a little pushed around because of my grades and I was different from everybody and I that time I really missed my friends." Hailey adds.
But Ms. Holly Allain, Hailey's second grade teacher, turned that bitter sadness into sweet joy. "She makes me feel special. She took care of me, she made me feel like I was part of my classroom." Hailey says.
It's that dedication to students and comfort that separates these educators from the rest. "I don't do it for the awards; I don't do it for the money. I do it because I love teaching and I love these kids." Holly Allain says.
Several employees from the US Navy and Coast Guard were also recognized for their volunteerism in Bay District Schools. Collectively they served more than 1,700 hours in a variety of ways.
"I believe when we go to the schools and bring them the robots that they can get their hands on or the science experiments that they can do in labs, it opens their eyes to how interesting our world is and really gets the passion flowing." Bill Porter says.
"They're not thinking about video games and stuff like that, they're thinking about how to better society." Edward Cheveresan says.
Many say this partnership goes far beyond the classroom--- it spills over into their daily lives, bringing comfort and hope when times get tough. Ultimately, today comes down to two words, to say: thank you.
Navy and school officials say they value the partnership that supports our kids while keeping our military members focused on the mission at hand.