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School District 49 Earns National Recognition for Military Family Outreach

School District 49, in conjunction with its esteemed partners at Peterson Air Force Base are recipients of the 2018 Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award™.


The award spotlights the work taking place at D49 through its BRIGHT (Building Restorative Interventions Growing Honorable Traditions) initiative, paired with the districts’ collaboration with Peterson Air Force Base.

Col. Todd Moore


The alliance established The Restorative Practices Coalition, which was presented with the 2018 Outstanding Partnership Award by the Military Child Education Coalition® (MCEC®) at its 20th National Training Seminar in Washington, DC. The Coalition ensures students from military families successfully find a place in the D49 school environment when servicemen and women settle into new assignments in southern Colorado.


“It was an honor to watch as national leaders celebrated the great work District 49 and our military partners are doing to support military-connected children,” said Peter Hilts, D49 Chief Education Officer. “As a district serving more than 6,000 military connected students, our leadership in restorative practices is a role model for schools and systems around the world.”

FHS S2S team


The coalition has a keen understanding of the challenges which come with the frequent changes of scenery experienced by military families. A key element to the coalition’s success is the Falcon High School S2S (Student to Student) program. S2S creates a volunteer group of military-connected and civilian students to serve as a committee to welcome military-connected students into their new school environment throughout the course of the entire school year. The Falcon High S2S has a long-standing tradition of excellence and has been awarded local and national recognition in its own right, and adds a vital student aspect to the Restorative Practices Coalition’s efforts. Military-connected students also receive community building experiences like a ropes-course challenge made possible by the coalition which also supports the district’s annual Military Appreciation Day. D49 students learn teamwork during a ropes course challenge in Black Forest


“As a retired Air Force officer it is gratifying to see the partnership that District 49 has built with the military community to support military-connected children,” said Dr. Lou Fletcher, director of culture and services.


The partnership is symbolic of District 49’s close connection with the southern Colorado’s rich military heritage and a commitment to ensure a positive learning experience for students with a connection to the armed forces.      


**Background on Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award™ courtesy: MCEC**


The Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award™ was created in 2004 to recognize the work of former MCEC Chairman Lieutenant General (Ret.) Pete Taylor in assisting military children.  The award is designed to foster the sharing of lessons learned and to recognize the long-held belief of General Taylor that “goodness starts at the local level.”


The annual award encourages and applauds the outstanding partnerships formed between military installations and school districts that serve military children.  Award winners are selected from schools and military installations around the world by MCEC, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military and veteran-connected children affected by mobility, transition, and family separation.

David Nancarrow