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Purple Star Initiative: Home

For Children of Military Families

Your Purple Star Advisors:

Parent/Guardians of Military Children,

Welcome to Salem School District’s Purple Star Initiative program. We look forward to working with you and your children as we bring this very worthwhile program on line in 2021. First, a little Bio on the teachers that the District selected to manage/facilitate this program.

I am CMSgt Tom Puzzo, (USAF Retired) and one of the two Air Force JROTC Aerospace Science Instructor’s at Salem High School. I am in my 20th year at Salem High School and served 30 years in the United States Air Force in the Aircraft Maintenance career field. I have been assigned in or deployed to over 45 countries during my career while my wife (also a military "brat" with the Royal Air Force) and I raised our two children, so I can attest to the trials and tribulations of what military children go through as military dependents. I feel I can bring a unique perspective to this program and am honored to be selected to co-facilitate this program.

I am Janet Trainor and currently work at Woodbury School teaching ELA and Reading Intervention. I have been teaching/working with children for 31 years. I'm married, and my husband just retired from the Army after 27 years. We have a wonderful daughter, who has recently started her first year as an elementary music teacher. I have been a first-hand recipient of being on the sidelines of someone devoted to the military, his love of country has been an inspiration for both my daughter and I. The goal is to provide anyone who needs it the services and support they need, and I am lucky to be a part of this great program.


About the Program

Purple Star Initiative

Salem High School is the recipient of the Purple Star Grant from the NH Department of Education Office of Social Emotional Wellness.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, thousands of New Hampshire military members have been deployed to serve in the global war on terrorism. According to the Defense Manpower Data Center, there are approximately 6,975 children that are direct dependents of those military families in New Hampshire. Frequent deployments, training exercises, and family separations, as well as reintegration issues, make life especially challenging for these children. New Hampshire Youth Risk Behavior data shows that children who have identified as having a familial association with the military demonstrate a 15% increase in propensity towards risky behaviors, to include substance misuse. New Hampshire offers a number of programs to assist military families, but local support and an awareness of these services is vital. The Purple Star Award for military-friendly schools recognizes schools that show a major commitment to students and families connected to our nation’s military. Schools that earn the award will receive a special Purple Star recognition to display onsite. At last count, approximately 352 Purple Star schools have been designated across 6 states and the list is growing.

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