What is a School Liaison? 3 Things to Know

Photo courtesy of Naval Station Great Lakes

Did you know that there’s a sailor on your spouse’s boat who helps coordinate volunteer events at local schools? Well neither did I until about a year and half ago, when my husband volunteered to become the School Liaison AKA “Partnership in Excellence Coordinator.” I had so many questions like “What is that?” or “How can this help your career?” and “How can I help?”

As we navigate the current realm of COVID-19, so much with education is up in the air. Every state, city and school district is abiding by their own restrictions, so check with your command on current opportunities and the likely event this position is recalled or on-hold until 2021.

In the meantime, below is a quick overview to keep in mind for the future:

What is a Partnership in Excellence Coordinator?

These coordinators help with events that strengthen bonds between our sailors and their local communities. They typically only work with elementary schools and usually only have one command at each school. They participate in Field Days, School Festivals, Book Fairs, Reading Days, having lunch with the kids and so much more.

Does This Help Your Sailors’ Career?

Yes and no. Formally? Not exactly. But by serving as a school liaison, your sailor can demonstrate his or her ability to be responsible, truthworthy and dedicated. This can be helpful for their peers and superiors to witness, and is a great resume booster.

How Can I Help?

This was a big one for me, as I really wanted to participate not only to help my husband, but have an opportunity to spend more time with him. Seeing your spouse at  work and meeting his shipmates which can be quite hard when your sailor is on a Boomer (Psst…don’t know what a boomer is? Click here.). As spouses, we of course can’t even get close enough to the boat to even see it more or less meet his peers and shipmates.

So how was I able to help? I would go with him to assist him with events such as during the Winter Festival. My husband played the part of Santa Claus and I acted as his handler, keeping  the kids moving and making sure he stayed hydrated because it can be very hot wearing that suit in Georgia even during December! I was able to help during field days where I acted as his second eyes and ears because coordinating 20-25 sailors with 100 kids running around in an open field can be very difficult. This all depends where your sailor needs your help and the duties they are responsible for which varies from school to school.

So overall I would recommend this to a personable and outgoing sailor and sometimes it can even be better if your kids go to that school because you already have a relationship with the staff. It was definitely a very unique experience and for one who doesn’t have kids, it was definitely a learning moment!

For more information on School Liaison programs, click here. Has your sailor served in this position? If so, comment below different projects they oversaw and how you were able to help!

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