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Four Hutto ISD Campuses Earned Purple Star Designation in Recognition of Commitment to Military-Connected Students

Hutto ISD is proud to announce that four of our campuses have received the distinction of being named a Texas Education Agency (TEA) Purple Star Designation campus. The award is for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years in recognition of being schools that excel in meeting the needs of military-connected students and their families. Congratulations to Benjamin "Doc" Kerley Elementary School (KES), Howard Norman Elementary School (HNES), Veterans' Hill Elementary School (VHE), and Hutto Middle School (HMS) for your dedication to our military community.

"We are so thankful for the hard work and dedication of the school administrators, campus military liaisons and district military liaison who work diligently with the campus military-connected students and their families to ensure our military-connected students and their families are supported," said Dr. Celina Estrada Thomas, Superintendent of Hutto ISD.

"Hutto ISD's military liaisons help our military-connected students adjust to their new school and provide resources to them and their families to make those transitions as smooth as possible," said Elva Torres, Director of State and Federal Programs. "They do an outstanding job ensuring we have programs for our military connected students and families," added Torres. "We sincerely appreciate all their dedication and are honored that the TEA recognized their efforts."

The Hutto ISD campuses that were awarded the Purple Star Campus Designation have plans in place to welcome new Military families to their campuses, guide the students through their first week of school and make themselves available to the students and their families as needed. They also recognize military connected students throughout the year during military holidays and observances. A special focus is made in the month of April which is the Month of the Military Child.

The following staff have been leading this charge:
HNES Military Liaison: Charlotte Goertz - serving 57 military connected students
VHES Military Liaison: Chelsea Eason - serving 33 military connected students
KES Military Liaison: Brenna Ramos - serving 57 military connected students
HMS Military Liaison: Bre'Ana Stafford - serving 53 military connected students
District Military Liaison: Stephen Balderas helping to serve the 626 military connected students district wide.

"Military life is very unique. While it can be very rewarding, there are challenges specific to military-connected students. Those challenges help to create a student who is resilient, responsible, respectful, has a strong sense of community and a love for their country. We thank our service members for their service, and recognize that our military-connected students make sacrifices as well, and we want to thank them for their service too!" said Stephen Balderas, district military liaison.

This special designation, created by the 86th Texas Legislature through SB 1557, recognizes campuses for demonstrating support and commitment to meeting the unique needs of military-connected students and their families. 
Applications must have met the following eligibility criteria:  
1. Designate a campus-based military liaison;  
2. Create and maintain an easily accessible web page that includes information on military-connected students and their families;  
3. Must have a campus transition program; and  
4. Offer at least one of the following initiatives:  
• A resolution showing support for military-connected students and families;  
• Participation in Month of the Military Child or Military Family Month; or  
• Partnership with a school liaison officer to encourage and provide
opportunities for active-duty military members.  
For more information on the Purple Star Campus Designation, see TEAs website. Click here to learn more about Hutto ISD's military support.