By Maj. Brian Maguire, Air University Public Affairs
/ Published April 11, 2019
Leaders from Air University and the 42nd Air Base Wing continue to partner with community leaders across the River Region to improve school choices for children of military-affiliated families.
Recent efforts have also included some student-led projects, as well as working with Troy University to host workshops with local school district staff, faculty from local universities and outside experts.
“There is a definite momentum building to develop community-based solutions to support local school options,” said Dr. Brian Selmeski, Air University chief of Faculty Affairs and chair of Public K-12 Education Working Group. “We’re committed to working with all the community organizations we can to improve local options for our students and permanent party.”
In 2018, the Air University commander and president, Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, chartered a Public K-12 Education Working Group consisting of leaders and representatives across the Maxwell-Gunter complex to lead collaborative efforts to work with the community. The working group led the Public Education Summit hosted by Cotton in January with more than 80 leaders from school districts, local universities and community organizations.
“The summit helped to identify areas that we can work on, which will be the focus of the next round of workshops,” Selmeski said. “We’re grateful that Troy University has volunteered to host the workshops at their Montgomery campus.”
Part of the efforts have included working with the Department of Defense Education Activity to explore several options related to the Maxwell Elementary-Middle School. MEMS offers kindergarten through 8th grade to residents of Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex, and is currently constructing a new school on Maxwell.
In addition to formal efforts from leadership, there have been multiple student-led volunteer activities occurring in the local community. Students from across AU have worked with different schools to provide Junior Achievement curriculum at T.S. Morris Elementary School, activating a Civil Air Patrol unit at Goodwyn Middle School and supporting the Legacy Flight Academy event at Tuskegee, Alabama.
“Air University is committed to partnering with local schools and other organizations to build on successes and collaborate to address the challenges military families face with public K-12 education,” said Selmeski. “We believe this effort will improve the education opportunities of all the area’s children.”