School liaison officer continues support of Airmen and Families amid COVID-19 pandemic
By Airman 1st Class Akeem K. Campbell, 366th Fighter Wing
/ Published March 23, 2020
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho --
COVID-19’s rampant spread around the world has men and women everywhere taking extra precautions to protect and provide for their families. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, school liaison officer Allen “Chief Nix” Niksich, from the 366th Force Support Squadron, continues to work and take care of Airmen and their families.
“Uncertainty and confusion become the norm in this scenario,” Nix said. “My job is to assist our families, coordinate with other helping agencies and be the voice for our base leadership to the local school districts and governing body.”
One of the crucial roles of a school liaison officer is to allocate information to military members, and provide assistance to families that are deployed. In addition, they are also beneficial to school services.
However, because of the COVID-19’s rapid spread, Nix had to witness the dramatic changes in the school district.
“Not ashamed to say I shed a few tears,” Nix said. “I saw empty playgrounds and classrooms as I visited all eight schools in the district, watching parents and children empty their desks and lockers and being issued their chrome-books.”
The changes also affected the Child Development Center in Mountain Home Air Force Base.
“As I finished my visits, I dreaded driving to my office, knowing that the 80 plus little boogers at the Child Development Center would not be there or at the Youth Center,” Nix said.
Despite the arduous changes, Nix continues to play his role in bringing the community together.
“It is my priority to bring smart people together to find the answers we need for the betterment of education and for our children, even in a crisis,” Nix said. “I am proud of how our families, our leadership and our local community have come together to make the best of a bad situation.”
Nix’s hard work doesn’t go unnoticed he has received plenty of praise from the people he has helped. Hacker Middle School Music Director, Kenda Schroeder, shares her compliments for Nix’s continued support of the school district.
“He cares so much about the students, their families and the staff of our school district,” Schroeder said. “He does an amazing job getting the word out to the base about school events.”
Niksich has also received acclaim from the trustee of the Mountain Home School District 193, Frank Monasterio.
“I’ve seen Chief Nix in action for several years, and he never failed to amaze me,” Monasterio said. “It is impossible to sum up the number of his projects that have advanced the good of Air Force dependents in our school system.”
James Gilbert, superintendent of the Mountain Home School District 193 also shares his compliments about Niksich’s efforts.
“His knowledge, support of students, parents, schools and his ability to work with all groups is unbelievable,” Gilbert said. “He has been instrumental in uniting the military community and the school community. His role is absolutely critical to how schools’ function in a military community.”
Despite these difficult times, Nix’s unwavering sense of dedication continues to bring communities together, with the hope that things will get better.
“We do the best we can for our community,” Nix said. “We try to keep the hopes up, motivated and positive so we can downplay or keep the world from going in to panic mode.”