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School liaison links families, schools

Darren Hill, right, 23d Force Support Squadron school liaison, addresses parents while being recorded, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. A school liaison officer serves as the conduit between local schools, military families and the community to help meet the unique needs of military connected students. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Taryn Butler)

Darren Hill, right, 23d Force Support Squadron school liaison, addresses parents while being recorded, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. A school liaison officer serves as the conduit between local schools, military families and the community to help meet the unique needs of military connected students. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Taryn Butler)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

With the new school year fast-approaching, Moody Airmen can rest assured there’s one person who will ensure their children will be taken care of while attending one of the 39 local schools.

Moody’s School Liaison Officer (SLO) offers guidance and support regarding academic options for military-affiliated students in order to ensure Moody’s Airmen and their families make informed decisions on the vast academic options available.

“It’s my job to customize real-time solutions for military-connected students facing transitional barriers and educational gaps,” said Darren Hill, 23d Force Support Squadron SLO. “I collaborate with community stakeholders to build a platform for enhanced educational opportunities and partnerships. I’m also responsible for creating a system of support for military-connected students experiencing parental deployment or separation.”

The liaison has many duties such as helping families find a suitable school for their children and advocating for military families with school-aged children by creating communication pathways between families, local schools, community stakeholders and the military.

“[I take] every opportunity to stand in front of our Airmen and their families to promote the SLO position and the various educational opportunities that are available to their children,” Hill said. “I brief the SLO program at Newcomer’s Orientation, Smooth Move, Heart Link, key spouse training, Top 3 meetings and commander’s calls.”

By working with the local community, a school liaison is able to conduct research on the resources available to military members and, in turn, educate the community on the inner workings of military life.

“It’s beneficial to work with the community because it helps to bridge the understanding gap that lies between the military and the civilian community,” Hill said. “Helping the local community to understand the challenges of military service equips [the community] with the knowledge needed to champion causes that support military families.”

The SLO also works closely with Tiger PAWS, Parents At Work in our School, to help deliberate and initiate ways to expand programs while providing useful feedback on plans and events.

“Families, specifically the parents, need someone to help navigate the immense responsibility we face of finding good schools and assist in easy transitions through deployment, permanent change of station and permanent change of assignment,” said Noel Molnar, Tiger PAWS president.

“The SLO has helped us stay relative with our information and our individual programs, as well as branch out to assist all the Children and Youth Programs, not just the Child Development Center. Although, we don't always function together in the same area, we aim to support each other and keep all Moody kids needs at the forefront of every operation.”