Malmstrom welcomes new school liaison officer

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jaeda Tookes
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
A new school liaison officer with the 341st Force Support Squadron was recently appointed at Malmstrom Aug. 8. The SLO works as the point of contact between the local community schools and military children who attend the schools.

Leisa Drain also works as the exceptional family member program family support coordinator for the base.

“One of my goals is to build positive relationships with military families and the Great Falls community by assisting with any educational issues that may develop from deployments to everyday changes dealing with military life,” Drain said.

Drain is also an active member of the Montana Council on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

“I further advocate for the educational needs of military children by attending and presenting at school board meetings,” Drain said.

According to Drain, the scope of her position allows her to interact with all schools — public, private and homeschools — where there are military-connected children.

“It is nice to have someone who knows about the different schools and districts in the area,” said Diamond McGrath, military mom and spouse. “It helps decision making go a lot smoother knowing all of the facts.”

The best part of her job, according to Drain, is being able to have a positive impact and make a difference for military families.

“I enjoy the positivity the school liaison officer brings to the military families around the base,” said McGrath. “It is very comforting to know we have the support of someone who can advocate on the behalf of the military children, because they understand the stress deployments, permanent changes of stations or even temporary duty assignments can cause.”

For Malmstrom, Drain also worked as the CDC director and family child care coordinator.

“It does not matter if the assistance I provide is small or labor-intensive, the important thing for me is that I can help in some way,” Drain said.

According to Drain, she has more than 30 years vested in working with military children and their families.

“My first career was as an educator, teaching for both private, public and the Department of Defense dependents schools overseas,” Drain said. “For the past 21 years, I was the training and curriculum specialist at the Malmstrom Child Development Center.”

Drain has also worked with age groups, preschool through high school as a SLO.

“I provide services to children and adults as the exceptional family member program family support coordinator,” Drain said.

According to Drain, with her job as an exceptional family member program family support coordinator, she provides support, resources and referral services to families with unique needs.

“These needs may include respite care, educational support, and social and recreational programming,” Drain said.

Drain encourages families to call or stop by her office for a visit if they need assistance in school or exceptional family member program family support coordinator.

Drain’s office is located at the Youth Center, and she can be reached at 731-3506.

“My children are not school age yet, but I enjoy the interaction the school liaison officer has with them at the youth center,” McGrath said.