Celebrating Military Children with a Purple Star Designation

The month of April is a particularly treasured time at Norfolk Collegiate as we celebrate the Month of the Military Child. In 1986, former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger designated April as the month to recognize the sacrifices military families—especially children of servicemembers—make when a parent (or parents) is in the armed forces.

This year’s celebration was made even more special when we learned Collegiate received a Purple Star Designation by the Virginia Department of Education, making us the only independent school in South Hampton Roads to be awarded the honor.

To memorialize this achievement, Lower School Counselor Jan Weintraub orchestrated a wonderful assembly dedicated to the Month of the Military Child on the lower school campus. Students and faculty and staff were encouraged to wear purple—the color symbolizing all branches of the military—and were given stickers, sashes and ribbons to ring in the bash.

Military personnel greeted students in the carpool line before escorting them into school, and there were many military families in attendance. Also in attendance were several, distinguished guests including Dr. Jill Gaitens, director for Central and Coastal Virginia (Military Child Education Coalition), Christina Escalante, school liaison officer (Naval Station Norfolk), Tiffany Johnson, school liaison officer (Naval Support Activity, Hampton Roads), Karen Phillips, school liaison officer (Joint Expeditionary Base, Little Creek-Fort Story), Terrilyn Williams, school liaison officer (Norfolk Naval Shipyard), Kelly Beck, family resource specialist (United States Coast Guard Base Portsmouth) and Capt. Brad Rosen, parent of three Collegiate students and an officer in the United States Navy.

“We take great care to provide a welcoming and inclusive experience for all members of our school community,” Weintraub said. “The Virginia Purple Star Designation for our lower school affirms this and recognizes the ongoing dedication of faculty and staff to both understand and serve the unique needs of our military students and their families. It's a privilege to be able to deliver these services, and we are especially grateful to celebrate our military community during the Month of the Military Child in April.”