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Photo Caption:  LeRoy Pimentel (left), project superintendent, S & M Sakamoto, Inc., gives Col. Sean Jenkins (right), deputy commanding general-support, 25th Infantry Division, and Jan Iwase (center), principal, Hale Kula Elementary School, an update on the school's $33 million Department of Defense renovation grant project during a visit to the school, recently.

August 13, 2014
School Support Services; Child, Youth and School Services; Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Col. Sean Jenkins, deputy commanding general-Support, 25th Infantry Division, recently visited all of the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) schools located, here, and on Wheeler Army Airfield, along with Leilehua High School in Wahiawa.

The primary purpose was to see how U.S. Army-Hawaii can partner with the DOE schools in providing support, academic help through mentoring and tutoring, and encouragement to schools where our military dependents receive their education.

"How can we help your school?" was a constant question Jenkins asked the principals. Through this informal means of communication and dialogue, the principals were assured that the Army is its partner and associate in the realm of education for our military and local children.

"Building success is about people working together. It's about relationships," Jenkins said. "We are residents of this community. When things happen, good or bad, we're all in it together."

Through different means of gathering facts and information, the colonel and school administrators also discussed traffic and attendance issues and reiterated his support of these issues as they impact Army Soldiers and families.

Jenkins sits on the Board of Directors for the Joint Venture Education Forum (JVEF) and displays his deep passion for Hawaii's schools by commenting and questioning about the military's contributions to the Hawaii DOE and how to improve relationships.

In addition to Leilehua High School, Jenkins has already visited Solomon Elementary, Hale Kula Elementary, Wheeler Elementary and Wheeler Middle schools. In August, he is slated to meet with the principal of Shafter Elementary.

Every school administrator was prompted to share ways and steps to improve the unfounded myths of Hawaii's public schools.

During these past few years, Hawaii's public schools have taken major steps in ensuring high scores in national tests and providing multiple means of enrolling in the top universities and colleges of our nation.

"We will continue to work together to improve the educational experiences of all children while in Hawaii," Jenkins said.