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9 School Districts Receive Top Honors for Outstanding Student-Led Leadership Initiatives, Support for Military-Connected Children

Posted: November 18, 2020

HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas – The Military Child Education Coalition® (MCEC®) announced today the recipients of the 2020 Student 2 Student® Outstanding Team Awards during the second day of the Coalition’s virtual Education Summit.

The annual award recognizes the top student-led programs that have led to improved academic performance and positive peer to peer interactions fostered through partnerships between military installations and school districts that serve military- and veteran-connected students. Winners are selected from 432 S2S programs around the world which include 12 countries and 34 states across the Nation.

“Congratulations to these amazing students and sponsors for their hard work and commitment,” said MCEC Vice President of Programs and Curriculum Annette Farmer. “These leaders embody our S2Sprogram values and reflect the highest standards of inclusivity for our military- and veteran-connected students around the world.”

The 2020 Student 2 Student® Outstanding Team Awards recipients are as follows:

Elite Team of the Year

Rocky Mountain Classical Academy – Elementary and Middle School Falcon District 49, Colorado Springs, CO

S2S Sponsor (middle school): Ashlynn Smith, instructional coach

S2S sponsor (elementary school): Amber Kettinger, 5th grade teacher

The RMCA Elementary and Middle Schools were both selected as finalists for the 2019-20 school year. Along with ensuring every S2S core value was met, the RMCA team went above and beyond to demonstrate commitment to service to their school, community, and world. The S2S teams worked together and partnered with the Honor Flight of Southern Colorado to honor the veterans in their community with a Veterans Day ceremony. One middle school and one elementary level S2S member were also selected to escort a group of veterans on an honor flight from Denver, CO to Washington D.C. RMCA takes great pride in unifying both programs together to achieve the S2S mission and overarching principal of 100% acceptance.

Elementary Team of the Year

Whiteman Elementary School – Knob Noster Public School, R-VIII School District, Knob Noster, MO.

S2S sponsor: Jessica Stewart, principal; Andrew Leonard, counselor;

Whiteman Elementary S2S team has made it their mission to ensure 100% of new students are welcomed on their first day of school.  They have established procedures that ensure every new student is greeted, taken care of, and made to feel accepted and welcome at Whitman Elementary. Whiteman Elementary is relatively new to the S2S family and has shown great commitment to all new students. They have a 99% student population that consists of military- and veteran-connected children. As a result, Whitman S2S is engaged year round as new students arrive nearly every week. Their focus on student leadership makes the Whiteman S2S team a leader the for S2S programs around the globe

Middle School Team of the Year

Wylie West Middle School, Wylie Independent School District, Abilene, TX

S2S Sponsor: Misty Cantrell, counselor and S2S district coordinator
Wylie West Middle School has shown innovative ways to make sure new students are fully integrated into the Wylie Bulldog family! Each new student is provided a through tour of their new campus to ensure they feel at home and comfortable in their new surroundings. New students are also match with a S2S member with a similar class schedule to make sure that new students are never left to feel out of place or that they don’t belong. New students are invited to new student breakfasts where they are able to interact with other new students and established students at the school. Additionally, their program ensures all incoming students are provided with a special welcome to Wylie West Middle School bag that includes, a school shirt, a gym bag and some fun school supplies to get them started.

High School Team of the Year

Swansboro High School, Onslow County Schools, Swansboro, NC

S2S Sponsor Erik Mattecola – teacher
Swansboro High School takes leadership seriously and understands that it is the foundation of a strong S2S team. When S2S members are selected for the school year, they attend an in depth, week-long leadership development training over the summer. Members learn team building and the benefits of getting out of their comfort zone to understand what a new student feels like when they walk into a new school. Students continue to build leadership skills throughout the year with continued development opportunities while leading the S2S program.

Established in 2004, Student 2 Student® (S2S™) is a student-led, sponsored program that brings military and civilian students together to welcome new students, create positive environments, support academic excellence, and ease transitions for military- and veteran-connected students around the world.



The Military Child Education Coalition is a 501(c)(3) global, nonprofit leadership and advocacy organization focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for millions of military- and veteran-connected children affected by mobility, transition, deployments and family separations. Learn more about the role MCEC plays globally at

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