Sullivan High School is one of 60 Hoosier schools earning the Indiana Purple Star School designation from the Indiana Department of Education. In its inaugural year, the Indiana Purple Star School designation honors schools that have display a significant commitment to service members, veterans, and students and families connected to our nation’s military.
Lynn Norris, the school’s social studies department head who led efforts to achieve the Purple Star designation, said, “It’s really exciting for the state to acknowledge that we support military families. It’s a great service to the community, and the purpose of the designation was to show that we are set up to help. We understand the difficulties placed on military families and want to do what we can to help. As a rural area, we don’t have a base, but we have kids whose parents are serving, and they are without the resources a true active military base would give them.”
Norris started working on the project in the spring before the pandemic lockdown, creating for the Southwest School Corporation’s website a list of resources for military families new to the area with links to City Hall, sundry utility companies and other helpful information.
“My dad was active military for 20 years and my husband was active military for six years, so I was familiar with what it was like to move into a community and not know much about it,” Norris said.
State Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick said, “As a proud military parent, I know firsthand the honor and respect our nation’s military deserves. I want to thank Indiana schools for their commitment to honoring and highlighting military service members. I am happy to award the inaugural Purple Star designation to a group of very deserving schools.”
In its first year, schools had to meet specific requirements to receive the Purple Star school designation. These include assigning a point of contact for military families, passing a resolution supporting military students and families, guaranteeing interviews for service members and their immediate family who meet the minimum job qualifications, and more.