WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — April is the Month of the Military Child. To celebrate, students at Sheppard Elementary shared about their lives as military children.
For children like Colton Pummill, moving every few years can be an exciting time.
“I’ve been to Florida, San Antonio, Kansas and back here,” Pummill said.
But as a military kid, it can also be a struggle to maintain relationships.
“You leave one school and you have so many friends there and then you go to this next school and then you have all these nerves and you’re just kind of like ‘i don’t know what to expect,'” Pummill said.
Sixth-grader Cheran Hooper has been at Sheppard Elementary since Pre-K. As a student tour guide, she helps make students like Pummill feel welcome.
“You want to make them feel like Sheppard is the place to be. So that way they remember that ‘hey I used to be at this one really good school.’ They treated me very nicely because I know a lot of the people are nice to you. They’re super nice,” Hooper said.
Pummill has felt so welcome that he is now a tour guide as well.
“They really stress out the ‘no bully zone’ here and I love that about here. Everyone’s really nice and it’s been really nice coming here because it’s just warm and welcoming here,” Pummill said.
With a lot of teachers also being connected to the military, principal Cindy Waddell says a culture of empathy and family is what the school builds its foundation on.
“We quote a jet pride motto that you’ve seen some of the kids do,” Waddell said.
“Be responsible, be cooperative, always try, make a difference and do the right thing,” Hooper said.
“It also means I love you in sign language. We try to spread the love and help everybody understand that this is a family here at Sheppard Elementary so we’re gonna treat each other just like we would treat our family,” Waddell says.
As the school celebrates Month of the Military Child, these students understand the pros and cons of being in a military family. But say people at schools like Sheppard make the transition a lot easier.
“It’s an experience that really no one else gets. I wouldn’t say VIP treatment but it’s VIP treatment,” Hooper said.
“Don’t be scared. Definitely just ease your nerves. They’ll find a way in,” Pummill said.
Helping students and families ease the nerves and make the nomadic life of a military family as smooth as possible.