Dec. 29—BUNKER HILL — Maconaquah School Corporation was one of 35 schools to earn Purple Star status by the Indiana Department of Education this year.
The distinction goes to individual schools and entire corporations that display a "commitment to service members, veterans and students and families connected to our nation's military," according to a news release.
To earn Purple Star status, schools must meet certain criteria, including an assigned point of contact for military families, an annual military program, a public military display and employment of service members and their families.
IDOE started its Purple Star recognition in 2020. Northwestern School Corporation and Peru High School were among the 60 inaugural schools to receive the distinction.
Superintendent Jamey Callane said he didn't realize Maconaquah met many of the IDOE's criteria for Purple Star status until after taking a closer look.
Maconaquah took the needed steps this fall to formalize its status with the department of education, as the school board signed off on a resolution in September.
"We felt it was important to finalize this," Callane said.
Callane said Maconaquah has many students with family members in the military, given the close proximity to Grissom Air Reserve Base.
The school corporation meets annually with students who have military connections and offer counseling when needed.
"When they're deployed, we really look after those kids with military backgrounds," Callane said.
Maconaquah has a working relationship with Grissom, such as providing transportation during the air shows at the base.
"We're always willing to help volunteer for those types of things," Callane said. "The base is a big part of what we're all about."
Maconaquah students honor service members each year with a Veterans Day program.
"These schools work year-round to honor our service members and their families, as well as prepare students to pursue their dreams after high school, including the pursuit of enlistment leading to service," Katie Jenner, Indiana secretary of education, said in a news release.
Purple Star status is good for three years.
Spencer Durham can be reached at 765-454-8598, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @Durham_KT.