The Month of the Military Child and Zach Fernandez, Massachusetts Military Child of the Year

Rear Admiral Clarke Orzalli, USN Retired, presented the School Committee with a proclamation from Governor Charlie Baker, recognizing Bedford’s contributions to the children of military families. April was the Month of the Military Child.

Orzalli, the Commissioner of Massachusetts’ Military Interstate Children’s Compact, cited Bedford’s dedication to military students who reside on Hanscom Air Force Base. Superintendent of Bedford Public Schools Jon Sills and State Representative Ken Gordon are both members of Massachusetts’ Military Interstate Children’s Compact.

Orzalli explained that through his experience in the Navy, he learned to understand the difficulty that moving schools has on students through observing his own children’s experiences. Citing these often-detrimental effects on the student’s education, Orzalli explained school districts must be proactive and helpful to military students.  He thanked the Bedford School Committee for their contributions.

Zach Fernandez ~ Military Youth of the Year, 2020

Zack Fernandez, Army family member, poses with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, at the State House in Boston, Mass., after being named the Hanscom Air Force Base 2019 Youth of the Year. Fernandez is the first member to receive the title in back-to-back years.

As often noted, Bedford High educates students from three different communities: Bedford, Boston/METCO, and Hanscom Air Force Base. Students from Hanscom AFB account for roughly fifteen percent of the student body at Bedford High.

One of those students is Zach Fernandez, a junior who attends Bedford High School. For the second time in a row, Fernandez was awarded Massachusetts Military Youth of the Year. This recognition is awarded to active military youth participants in the Boys & Girls Clubs who strive to make a difference in the military youth community.

As an active participant in Hanscom Youth Programs, Fernandez understands that his activism helps his peers. “I’m very honored to have the opportunity to be a spokesperson for military youth,” Fernandez said.

“At Hanscom Youth Programs, we are like one big family,” Fernandez said, “they support military youth to be resilient, no matter what life throws at them.”


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