On Tuesday, Dr. Brian Henry, superintendent of the Waynesville R-VI School District, served as a member of a panel of experts in Washington, D.C., for the Building the Next Great American Defense Community discussion during the Defense Communities National Summit.

When national leaders want to learn how to better serve military families, they are turning to the Waynesville R-VI School District where 76% of its students are military impacted.
On Tuesday, Dr. Brian Henry, superintendent of the Waynesville R-VI School District, served as a member of a panel of experts in Washington, D.C., for the Building the Next Great American Defense Community discussion during the Defense Communities National Summit.
“It was an honor to represent our outstanding students, their families and staff in Washington – especially given the caliber of individuals serving on the panel. These individuals are national leaders and our students’ performance earned us a spot on that panel,” Henry said.  
The panel of speakers included Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-2), U.S. House of Representatives; Co-chair of the Military Families Caucus; Kathy Roth-Douquet, executive director, Blue Star Families; Chuck Milam, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Military Community and Family Policy; Joyce Raezer, executive director, National Military Families Association; and Henry.
The session’s description was as follows: “The needs of military families have grown dramatically in recent decades due to the increased tempo of deployments, a greater attention to school quality and the transition issues children experience, a rigid promotion system and increased interest from spouses to pursue independent careers. In the face of these challenges, defense communities are forced to look for new ways to support military families. Learn how the Pentagon, lawmakers, military family support groups and communities are responding to these changes.”
Michael Cooper, president, Association of Defense Communities and chairman, Oklahoma Strategic Military Affairs Commission, introduced the speakers. Michael Kelly, vice president of Military Affairs, USAA, served as the moderator.
Beyond its continuous growth in student learning and annual performance scores, the Waynesville R-VI School District is the national leader in growth in AP math/science/English Qualifying Scores at Army-affiliated schools across the country. The district achieved a 257% increase since the implementation of the National Math + Science Initiative (NMSI) three years ago.
Waynesville R-VI was the first district in Missouri to participate in the NMSI program, thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Department of Defense Educational Authority. This spring the district received a continuation grant of $100,000 from NMSI because of its success. Through the program, students can earn college credit at colleges and universities that accept qualifying AP exam scores.
“Our partnership with NMSI has helped us become a national leader in educating military children,” Henry said. “This program allows our students to graduate from high school with enough credits to enter college as sophomores – all at no cost to our families. As the father of three daughters in college, I can tell you that’s a substantial savings.”