Tullahoma High School is now one of 10 schools in the state to be awarded the Tennessee Purple Star School Award after recently receiving that designation from the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission.
“Receiving the Tennessee Purple Star School Award is one of the highlights of this school year,” said THS Principal Jason Quick. “For several decades, our community has been synonymous with the military and the scores of generations of families who call Tullahoma home as a result. Our school has been blessed to have many outstanding students from military families, and we look forward to continuing our support in the years to come.”
This announcement comes in April, which celebrates the vital role of military children. On April 20, states, communities and schools from across the nation will wear the color purple to celebrate Purple Up! For Military Kids Day.
In 2019, The Tennessee Miltary Interstate Children’s Compact Commission State Council launched the Purple Star Schools Award Program, which is provided to military-friendly schools that display a major commitment to serving military-connected families and students. Schools must complete four required school activities to achieve this designation, including at least one optional school activity.
Firstly, the school must have an assigned staff point of contact for military-connected students and families. This point of contact serves as the primary liaison between the family and the school. The Tullahoma High School contact person is Assistant Principal, Marine veteran Derrick Crutchfield.
Additionally, a school’s point of contact must complete a professional development course or session that covers topics outlined by the Miltary Interstate Children’s Compact Commission or special considerations for military-connected families and students.
“To spearhead our local efforts at THS, there is no one more appropriate to serve in the role of Purple Star Coordinator than Derrick Crutchfield,” Quick said. “As a Marine veteran and THS alumnus, Mr. Crutchfield has consistently demonstrated the highest level of support and passion in serving the needs of all THS students. His experience in the military provides him with a unique perspective of the needs of military families and students and will allow him to guide our school to create additional support for our current and future military students at THS.”
Schools also must maintain a dedicated webpage with support materials and information for military-connected families and students. The link, which can be viewed here, needs to be easily located on the school’s home page and all information must be current and contain the point of contact information.
Lastly, a school must complete one of the following activities and provide evidence of completion through pictures, videos, flyers, registration sign-in, links and more.
- Professional development regarding special considerations and supports available for military-connected families and students is held during a staff meeting or workshop.
- A resolution passed by the school board publicizing the school’s support for military students and families.
- Host an annual military-family program.
- Host a military appreciation event.
- Celebration of the Month of Military Child, which occurs in April.
- Form military family/committee/counseling groups to offer support.
Tullahoma has completed four of those optional activities, including its annual Veterans Day Tribute Train that traveled to each campus in the district.
“I am extremely proud and honored that THS has received the Purple Star School Award,” said TCS Director of Schools, Dr. Catherine Stephens. “As an Army veteran’s daughter and a Navy veteran’s wife, I have the utmost respect for those who have served across all branches. This is quite the honor for our high school and district. I commend THS for receiving this accolade. I am hopeful that our other campuses inside TCS will receive this same honor in the coming years.”