Connecting the heart's passion to the mind's purpose

  • Published
  • By by Staff Sgt. Warren Spearman
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
Every school has its challenges, yet being a school at an air force base is a unique experience altogether. The deployments, training, and military exercises in today's wartime environment have combined to make the military family into a unit constantly on the move.

For HMS, it understands these challenges and takes them head on. Its lifeblood is its children. The people in charge of their education are dedicated and driven. It's commitment to positivity and harnessing each student's talents and gifts have contributed to the school being selected as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School.

HMS is the only middle school in New Mexico to recieve this honor.

"It's incredible", says Maria Showalter, principal of Holloman Middle School. "We have the best kids in the world and everyone's had a part in this achievement."

In her ten years as principal, Holloman Middle School has been on the very cutting edge of educational advancements in New Mexico. They were the first school to institute web based learning, and the first to implement a school wide wireless system.

She attributes the school's success to two factors, highly effective teachers and a "pay it forward" concept through multiple service and project based programs.

Programs at HMS include music, athletics, Math Olympiad, and essay contests that involve organizations such as Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Rotary Club, and Daughters of the American Revolution.

Being at such a remote area, the biggest challenge at HMS is finding the right teachers to help shape and mold the leaders of the future.

"I am always looking for the best teachers," Showalter says. "Some of my teachers are
Air Force spouses, so I may only have them for a year or two, but I'd rather have an exceptional teacher for a year than a mediocre one for years."

The middle school will be honored in Washington D.C. on Nov. 18 and 19. The National Blue Ribbon is considered the highest honor for educational excellence.

It is said that it takes a village to raise a child, and the combined efforts of Holloman and its families have taken the children of Holloman Middle School to its highest potential.