SLPM guides AAFB families, leaders through education decisions

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Trenton Jancze
  • 97 Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Between moving, training, and time away, navigating hardships can be difficult for military families.  These changes can be difficult for school-age children, especially with their education and social life. This is why the school liaison program manager exists - to help military children having trouble adjusting to big life changes.

Judy Mott, 97th Force Support Squadron, is the SLPM for military families at Altus Air Force Base. Her primary responsibility is to help incoming and outgoing students from kindergarten through 12th grade to ensure they have a balanced educational environment.

“The Army did a study about a decade ago, and they discovered that a lot of retention issues they were having were because of education issues within families,” said Mott. “So they decided to create this school liaison position, and then the other branches followed.”

According to Mott, part of her responsibilities also include bridging gaps between base, school, and community leaders.

“It’s school days and programs and so much more than that,” said Mott. “It’s being the go-between (for) base leadership and school leadership, attending meetings on behalf of leadership and making those community connections.”

Mott has only been in her position since February 2021; however, she has a professional background in both education and public affairs. She believes her unique experience enables her to excel at her position.

“I'm a former educator. I taught for 15 years and I also have a former career in public affairs and broadcast journalism,” said Mott. “I feel like this position is the perfect marriage of my public affairs background and my education background because so much of this job is out in the public and being the base representative. So much of it is thinking like a teacher, and how to best help these families, so I feel like I bring that special combination to this position.”

One of the community members who works with Mott to help provide a proper environment for military families is Amanda Davis, Director of Public Relations for Altus Public Schools. Davis is just one of many who have seen firsthand the dedication that Mott has for children.

“Everything she does comes back to what’s best for the kids,” said Davis. “She’s willing to share any and all information that she thinks is pertinent to Altus schools.”

Davis also mentioned how important it is to have somebody like Mott in the school liaison position because she’s a “go-getter” and has a positive relationship with base leaders that support her and the decisions she makes.

“It's really neat with my position,” said Mott, “I get to work directly with base leadership and it's wonderful to see how much they care about the families and the students and how they're eager for information and eager to help when there are issues. I'm the person that will bring them those issues, bring them the problems or the solutions and say ‘hey let's do this, let's help in this way,’ and they have been nothing but supportive.”