Team Whiteman ranks #1 for quality of education programs among Air Force bases

Whiteman Air Force Base was the top ranking Air Force installation for educational benefits and programs during a 2019 study. Whiteman AFB’s plans to continue developing and bettering its educational system to provide better quality education options for students and licensed family members. (Courtesy graphic)

Whiteman Air Force Base was the top ranking Air Force installation for educational benefits and programs during a 2019 study. Whiteman AFB’s plans to continue developing and bettering its educational system to provide better quality education options for students and licensed family members. (Courtesy graphic)

Brig. Gen. John J. Nichols, commander of the 509th Bomb Wing, poses for a photo with local civic leaders and Knob Noster school district administrators.

Brig. Gen. John J. Nichols, commander of the 509th Bomb Wing, poses for a photo with local civic leaders and Knob Noster school district administrators on Dec. 10, 2018 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The leaders gathered in front of a portion of the KN high school student body to recognize the school's robotics team and accept a Department of Defense Education Activity grant. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kayla White)

Knob Noster High School Air Force JROTC Cadet Maj. Chloe McDonnell leads a color guard formation at the beginning of a ceremony.

Knob Noster High School Air Force JROTC Cadet Maj. Chloe McDonnell leads a color guard formation at the beginning of a ceremony on Dec. 11, 2018 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. KNHS students and administrators joined members of the base to attend a Department of Defense Education Activity grant presentation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kayla White)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --

Whiteman Air Force Base ranked number one in quality of education out of 154 Air Force bases surveyed in the 2019 Support of Military Families assessment released by the Air Force.

“Educational options and opportunities in some areas are key decision factors for some of our service members on whether they stay in the Air Force or decide to separate,” said U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command’s Command Chief Master Sgt. Charles Hoffman in a release. “Our military children deserve the best quality education no matter where their parents are stationed, and we hope the communities surrounding our AFGSC bases will do everything they can to make sure that quality education is available.”

The education study included a full-spectrum assessment, taking a look at academic performance, school climate, and service offerings, gauging how services members and their families are impacted in each category. The initiative ensures communities and services offered around military bases are dedicated advancing quality of life opportunities for U.S. Air and Space Airmen and their families.

Knob Noster Schools and Whiteman AFB have many programs in place to enhance students’ learning opportunities. These programs include Homeschool KNection, Knob Noster Virtual Academy, Sports alignment to Military families, and many more.

“Every member of the Knob Noster Public Schools team takes our responsibility to educate our students seriously, including the 70% of Knob Noster students who are connected to the Whiteman AFB mission,” said Dr. Jarrod Wheeler, Knob Noster School District superintendent, in a statement. “Providing an excellent education for all students is our ultimate goal. However, it brings an additional level of fulfillment to our team, knowing we are strengthening the mission and enhancing quality of life by doing our jobs exceptionally well. While our Airmen are taking care of our nation's business to preserve peace, the last thing that needs to be on their mind is whether or not their children are receiving excellent care and service in our schools.”

Additionally to confident schooling, professional licensure portability is critical to many military families.

“The communities in AFGSC have been hitting this area hard for the last few years, and I’m extremely proud of how far we’ve come,” said U.S. Air Force Gen. Tim Ray, AFGSC commander. “However, there are still areas that can be improved.”

Several states, including Missouri, are starting an initiative through two legislative bills titled, “SB 673” and “HB 1511,” which aim to lessen the struggle for spouses with occupational licenses who want to practice their profession outside their residential state. The goal is to reduce the difficulties military spouses who move to Missouri will face when getting their professional licenses registered with the state and to increase job security.

U.S. Air Force Col. Jeffery Schreiner, 509th Bomb Wing commander, said he’s excited for the plans the Team Whiteman community has in the works with hopes to build upon the great foundation of their education programs.

“I’m proud of our Airmen and community for stepping up and leading the way with the education benefits and programs we have in place,” Schreiner said. “Having reliable communities who support our Airmen greatly contributes to our strategic mission. It allows our members to have good education available for their families, and provides ease to our service members by giving them the opportunity to work through their educational goals themselves. However, we are a community of innovators and we will continue to reach and strive new heights for our education services.”