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Ann Flynn and Tom Gentzel, NSBA

Meet Ann Flynn, Director of Education Technology, and Tom Gentzel, Executive Director, both of the National School Boards Association (NSBA). They share how the goals of NSBA directly align with those of the U.S. Army, including their respective efforts to offer resources to help students become successful. 



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The National School Boards Association has I think an important mission of serving and advancing public education through effective local governance. So the people we represent, ultimately, are the local elected officials who serve on school boards. Trying to connect them with state and federal elected officials to make good education policy for the school children of America.

NSBA's annual conference is our premier event of the year. We get over 5,000 local school officials from around the country.

The U.S. Army has been one of our partners at that conference for a number of years. It attracts a lot of attention to its booth and then shares a lot of the resources that are available to communities and students across the country.
The U.S. Army offers one of the really popular sessions and it's the March2Success program that helps educate school board members about the free resources in college prep exams. That's one of the expensive things and that's one of the real equity issues that public schools face. Some students can afford to take those kinds of courses to be prepared for college entrance exams and some can't.

Whether they go directly into college, they go into military service, they go someplace else, we want them to be prepared.  I think the reason the relationship with the Army is so important is those goals align directly with the Army's goals.

The army offers students with an opportunity to really get a hands-on look at college and career ready, which, often times, military service is not a part of that conversation.  And yet, the resources that the army offers through ROTC, through scholarships, can help make college possible for students who might not be able to afford it otherwise.

I think both of us, the school boards association and the Army, have helped local school officials understand there are resources available to really help students become successful. I'm really pleased that we have that opportunity to work together.